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DECEMBER 2013

How to plan the perfect party Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

Invited to a party? Be a good guest

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+ Winterproof your pets

+ Free time: What to do over holiday break

+ Veggie hors d’oeuvre recipe


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Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

WHAT’S INSIDE

Kyrstie Cox (979) 731-4665

Internet Sales Director

Internet Marketing Consultant

jenny.downing@theeagle.com

kyrstie.cox@theeagle.com

Shauna Lewis Editorial shauna.lewis@theeagle.com Jim Bob McKown Creative Services Manager jimbob.mckown@theeagle.com ON THE WEB

/shopbrazos Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written permission is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in the publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the management of the publication. ©2013 GATEHOUSE MEDIA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Beauty and relaxation. French Door Spa & Salon has customers covered for the holidays

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Holiday Jewels. A treasure of veggies in a tasty basket

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Jenny Downing (979) 731-4660

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Last minute gift ideas… These gifts are good in a pinch.


Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

ARE YOU TIRED OF HIGH ELECTRIC BILLS? YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

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GIFT GUIDE

Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

E-GIFT CARDS Plenty of retailers offer e-gift cards that can be purchased online and emailed to the recipient. They can be bought in a matter of seconds, don’t require wrapping and are available in exactly the right amount. From Walmart to Saks Fifth Avenue, Amazon to Victoria’s Secret, eBay to Apple, virtual gift-giving is quick, easy and convenient. For a comprehensive view of what stores offer -gift cards or e-gift certificates, visit www.giftcards.com.

$5.99 Fun and useful, Think Geek’s simple band of stainless steel doubles as a bottle opener. Slip it on the middle finger with the “cat’s ears” facing the palm, then hook the bottle cap and lift your wrist to open. Available in whole sizes 8-15.

Last-minute

gift ideas These novelties are good in a pinch CLAIRE BURKE CHRISTMAS MEMORIES HOME FRAGRANCE ROOM SPRAY

By Melissa Erickson | More Content Now

MERRY MARSHMALLOW YANKEE CANDLE

HOPKINS SUBZERO ICE SCRAPER MITT

$10.99 Yankee Candles’ small housewarmer jar candles come in a variety of seasonal scents including this one, a creamy concoction of marshmallow and vanilla. Also for the holidays are sweet and spicy Celebrate Christmas, sugary pink Snowflake Cookie and white musk Season of Peace, each last-

$8.99 A practical gift he or she will appreciate, this waterproof mitt features an elastic wrist to keep out snow and cold; a soft, quilted outer layer; and a cotton core with fleece lining. Available in a variety of colors.

$10 Create a festive holiday mood with this warm cinnamon and smoky clove fragrance. A favorite of customers for decades, Christmas Memories is a long-lasting scent packed in a 3-ounce brushed aluminum can.

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ORIGINAL RING THING BOTTLE OPENER

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hether you’re a procrastinator who left it to the last minute or you’re proactive in planning for the unexpected, last-minute gift-giving doesn’t need to be difficult. Keeping a stash of last-minute gifts on hand is a smart way to avoid the uncomfortable feeling that arises when someone surprises you with a gift. The key is to have something that will appeal to all sorts of people in a pinch. Check out the examples on this page.

ZHENA’S STACKABLE TEA SAMPLERS $8.99 Please their palates with a variety tea tin stackable sampler. Each sampler contains four embossed, recyclable airtight tins containing four sachets of 100 percent certified fair trade and organic tea, for 16 total sachets. Flavors include raspberry earl, Egyptian mint, ambrosia plum and Italian chamomile.


Break from routine Plan winter break activities as a family By Melissa Erickson More Content Now

Plan together While planning for holiday break activities is good advice, Roehlkepartain stressed it shouldn’t fall solely on the parents’ shoulders. “Talk to your kids about what they would like to do. Let them be part of the planning. It’s their responsibility, too,” he said.

Making memories The holiday break “is a wonderful opportunity to spend time together as a family. Most parents say they want to spend more time with their kids, but break can be crazy. You really have to look for ways to take this time together to create memories,” Roehlkepartain said. The best memories are often the simple things families do together, he said, such as teaching younger children how to wrap presents, making cookies or volunteering together.

ParentFurther.com

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“You have to find a balance of enjoying life at home and exposing them to new things, spending time together and also letting them have some alone time, using media and reading books,” he said. ParentFurther.com offers the following advice: n Get kids out of the house. Go outside and play, see a movie, or visit a museum or zoo. n Invite friends over. n Visit family and friends you don’t have time to see during the school year. n For children younger than 5, try to stick with their child-care routine. Little ones don’t need many special activities and simply enjoy bonding time. n For ages 6 to 9, visit the library and check out craft, science or project books. Together, do something your child decides on. n For ages 10 to 15, volunteer to drive your kids somewhere they want to go, such as a mall, indoor water park or the movies. Take a book or something with you to do if

The best memories are often the simple things families do together, such as teaching younger children how to wrap presents, making cookies or volunteering together. Gene Roehlkepartain, Minneapolis Search Institute

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they want you nearby but not too close. n Put boundaries on the electronics. n Encourage kids to connect with friends, but be sure they have some supervision. n Ages 16 to 18 often work hard at school and may need

lots of downtime. Some are exhausted and want lots of sleep. Some want to do more activities of their choice. n Host a movie marathon at your home. Have teens invite their friends. Make snacks they enjoy.

Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

Kids love winter break. Parents, on the other hand, may look forward to it with uncertainty or even dread. How are you going to keep the kids busy? It doesn’t take much before cabin fever sets in, so parents can find holiday break a bit stressful, said Gene Roehlkepartain, vice president for research and development for Minneapolis’ Search Institute, which produces the online parenting advice source ParentFurther.com. “Holiday break is change in the routine, and that can throw things off. My advice is to be intentional and think ahead,” Roehlkepartain said.

While parents don’t want their children becoming couch potatoes, “sometimes boredom isn’t a bad thing,” Roehlkepartain said. “Sometimes boredom leads to creativity and imagination.” Even younger children can get in on the fun of planning. In between holiday obligations, pick a few dates to do special family activities. “Kids can learn to enjoy the anticipation, and as they cross off the days they learn delayed gratification,” Roehlkepartain said.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

Try this bouquet of yellow squash, grape tomatoes and zucchini, simple but elegant in a basket made of Parmesan cheese. A strip of Parmesan lace and a frill of endive accent the entirely edible arrangement. PHOTOS AND FOODSTYLING BY MARGARET MAPLES/MORE CONTENT NOW

Holiday jewels A treasure of veggies in a tasty basket

By Margaret Maples More Content Now

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fter feasting on rich food from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, wouldn’t simplicity be a nice change? How about a dish of roasted or grilled veggies presented in a Parmesan basket? Simple and nutritious, but still dressed to party. You could pick almost any vegetable: beans, bell peppers, carrots,

celery, onions, potatoes. We chose yellow squash, grape tomatoes and zucchini. With just a little primping, these produce a vivid bouquet of gold, scarlet and green. Slice the squash with a garnishing knife to give each piece a pretty accent. For more variety, cut a few long green and yellow squash strips. Brush the pieces lightly with canola oil and grill or roast them. A ridged cast-iron skillet pro-

duces nice grill marks in the oven, but a rimmed baking sheet is a reliable choice, too. Halve grape tomatoes, set them cut side up in a pan, and top each morsel with kosher salt before roasting. To let these jewel-like colors shine, steer clear of breading. A crust of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) tastes great, but you’ll end up with a monochrome dish: golden veggies in a golden cheese basket.

Getting organized Imported, aged Parmesan is usually priced like the treasure it is, but inexpensive, shredded Parmesan works well for these edible baskets. If you’ve never made one before, the lower-cost cheese will let you practice without having to cope with sticker shock. Gathering your equipment ahead of time will make this project more fun. For cooking, you’ll need a 10- to 12-inch

nonstick skillet and a plastic or wood spatula. To shape the still-hot cheese discs, select a rather tall, narrow jar or glass and a clean, dry dish towel. Working a day or two ahead of serving is a good idea. The baskets are somewhat fragile, so you’ll want covered containers sturdy enough to protect them while they’re stored in the fridge.


‘Weaving’ with Parmesan

a nonstick skillet.

A garnishing knife (at right) gives the squash discs a dressy edge. Roasted grape tomatoes bring extra pizzazz.

Brush the squash discs with oil, season as you like – we used salt and red curry powder – and roast.

While the cheese is still hot, drape the disc over a glass or jar. As the Parmesan droops, crimp it to make an interesting shape.

Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

Start weaving a basket by sprinkling a loose single layer of shredded Parmesan in

Sprinkle a single layer of shreds on the floor of the skillet. Leave space between the bits of cheese, especially around the edge of the disc, for a lacy effect. Cook over medium-low heat until the shreds melt slightly and stick together, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the disc and quickly center it over the glass or jar. The surrounding margin of hot cheese will begin to sag. Before the cheese cools and becomes crisp, crimp the sides of the basket. Be gentle but firm. The dish towel will protect your hands from the just-cooked Parmesan. The basket will firm up and become crunchy in minutes. Arrange the roasted squash and tomatoes in it and add accents of endive and a spare strip of lacy cheese. Set out favorite dips, and prepare to eat your vegetables – and their baskets – in style.

New Years Eve Billy Mata & The Texas Tradition Come check out our Holiday Drink Specials! The Last Wednesday of every month is Ladies Night!* *

Half prices drinks and appetizers!

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Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

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Beauty and relaxation

French Door Spa & Salon has customers covered for the holidays Shauna Lewis The Eagle

Whether customers are looking for a facial that will leave them with radiant skin, hair care services or products, a relaxing massage or special Christmas gifts, French Door Spa & Salon has them covered. Stylist Veronica Saragosa opened French Spa & Salon, at 3206 Longmire Drive in College Station, in 2003. She said the business offers excellent customer service. “We’re unique because we strive to meet everyone’s individual needs,” Saragosa said.

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French Door Spa & Salon has several products and services that can help customers look and feel their best for holiday gatherings and outings, including several holiday spa package specials. Any of these services or products would also make great Christmas presents, and French Door offers gift cards.

Products and training French Door Spa & Salon is a Bumble & bumble salon. In association with Bumble & bumble in New York, the salon offers training for its stylists on the latest techniques, and offers a full line of Bumble & bumble hair products. It also carries Mirabella mineral makeup, a line that finds customers’ perfect foundation match using the Fitzpatrick system. Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick of Harvard University created the level system for skin tones based on heritage and tolerance to sunlight. French Door Spa & Salon also carries Yon-Ka, which is a botanical based, effective professional skin care line that naturally uses aromatherapy. The products are not tested on animals, and contain fresh collagen and hyaluronic acid, which are known for their anti-aging effects.

French Door Spa & Salon’s Yon-Ka skin care kits would make great Christmas gifts, esthetician Elizabeth Peña said. Other products include PCA SKIN, a line of gentle, yet highly effective skin care treatments and daily care products. French Door technicians are specifically trained on PCA professional products. Spa Day spa services include a variety of massages: Swedish, deep Swedish, deep tissue, hot rock, pre-natal and couples massages. The couples massage includes a Swedish massage for two in a double massage room, a choice of wine and cheese or champagne and chocolate and access to the air jet bath and steam shower. Other services include spa packages, nail care, chemical peels, waxing, body treatments, airbrush tanning, makeup and guys’ services. Guys’ services include fa-

cials, manicures, pedicures and back treatments. French Door Spa & Salon also provides several specialty facials. They are listed below, along with Peña’s description of each: • Intermezzo: Introduction to Yon-Ka’s Quintessence of the phyto-aromatic care. This is great for a quick brightening treatment. • Soin Teenager: A “phyto” cleansing treatment with as-

tonishing efficiency to be used regularly in order to balance the adolescent or impure epidermis and prevent imperfections. Soin Teenager is a vital priority for the beauty regimen and well being of all adolescents affected by skin imperfections. To be performed on a regular basis from the onset of acné and imperfections issues. • Le Grand Classique: One of the most elaborate, complete facials. Leaves a person with clean, perfectly balanced skin and a

A couples massage includes access to the air jet bath and steam shower.


OP ZOS OM

BUSH LIBRARY AND MUSEUM beauty of youth that is advised for all skins lacking vitality, for those with uneven complexions, smokers and city dwellers who are permanently engulfed in pollution. Advised for young skins (25 to 35 years) to fight aging caused by external aggression and all skins that are dull and need more vitality. • Optimizer: Lifting and restructuring, this anti-aging treatment acts like a “personal trainer” for the skin. By stimulating the skin’s natural regeneration processes, it optimizes firmness, reduces wrinkles and fine lines, and intensifies glow. Rich in redensifying thickening hibiscus and lupine peptides and highly hydrating marine collagen and hyaluronic acid, it reinforces the structure of the epidermis and uses coenzyme Q10 to protect the skin cells from free-radical attacks. Salon French Door Spa & Salon provides haircuts for children, women and men. Salon services for women also include spa conditioning treatments, toners, foil highlights, hair color, perms, relaxers, keratin treatments, special occasion styles, sew-in exten-

sions, feathers, flairs and color hair pieces. Stylists also provide hair color and highlights for men. Holiday spa package specials Customers could take advantage of spa packages to relieve stress during a busy time of year or to give to a loved one a gift. Holiday spa packages, which continue through Jan. 2, are: • Mr. and Mrs. Claus ($145) - couples massage, aromatherapy steam, champagne and chocolates • Holiday Sparkle ($95) – Mini Facial, half-hour massage, polish change, makeup application

Esthetician Elizabeth Peña provides several specialty facials.

Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

radiant complexion. Customized and recommended at any age, it centers on Yon-Ka’s exclusive deep cleansing regimen. Using five successive steps carried out with the utmost care in the oxygenating atmosphere of five essential oils, the pure glow of the epidermis is revealed, one step at a time. Le Grand Classique is a cornerstone facial to indulge in once a month to keep skin healthy and in top condition.  • Hydralessence Face: This high-performance treatment will quickly help to restore the skin’s balance, suppleness and softness. The treatment features the powerfully softening action of seaweed and fruit extracts; the use of two refreshing masks, one including a massage with a fine aromatic mist; and the application of a repairing, hydrationreactivating duo using Yon-Ka techniques. The Yon-Ka touch is used during this facial: the application of a soft gel peel with citrus extracts on the hands, to hydrate and exfoliate simultaneously. Choose Hydralessence year-round, as soon as skin starts showing symptoms of dehydration. • Vital Defense: The shield against damage to protect the

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• Sugar & Spice ($120) – European Facial, Honey Sugar Butter Body Polish • A Season to Remember ($205) – steam room, body wrap, aromatherapy massage, paraffin manicure, peppermint pedicure

Yon-Ka skin care kits would make great gifts.

• Holiday Glow ($100) – Aromatherapy Sea Salt Glow, airbrush tanning For more information, call 979-696-8992, visit http://frenchdoorspa.com or find the French Door Salon & Spa on Facebook.

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French Door Spa & Salon carries several Bumble & bumble products.


Host with the most Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

Plan a party that you can also enjoy

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By Melissa Erickson More Content Now

Setting the mood for a perfect holiday party starts before the first guest arrives. “My advice is to plan ahead and prepare ahead,” said Joanie Williams of The Dinner Party Planning Site (thedinnerpartyplanningsite.com). “Planning ahead eliminates stress and allows you to enjoy your own party, too.”

Guest list The first step to a successful party is inviting guests who will interact well together, said Jules Hirst, director of First Impressions Etiquette Consulting in Los Angeles (forajulproductions.com). “Ideally you want to invite guests who have common interests. This makes it easier when coming up with your seating arrangement for dinner,” Hirst said. “If you are having a less formal, more open gathering like an open house, you can then invite a more diverse group of people.” Syndi Seid, etiquette expert and founder of AdvancedEtiquette. com, said, “Always make a list of everyone you want to invite ahead of physically pressing ‘send.’ Then continue to add to this list as additional guests come to mind. “If you do end up inviting folks who are contrary, make a point to calm them down upon arrival, maybe keep tabs on them as the evening progresses, by saying: ‘John, just to let you know we’ve invited a few friends who are staunch Republicans and I know you are a Democrat, so we’d appreciate keeping any discussion of politics to a minimum. I’m also saying the same to them,’” Seid said.

Setting the mood “Music is such a powerful moodsetter; I just can’t imagine any party without it,” Williams said.

Be sure to have the music playing before guests arrive so when they walk through the door, they’re welcomed with music. “I personally like soft, lowvolume music playing in the background” such as “jazzy holiday CDs without distracting vocals,” Seid said. Avoid music that is so loud guests must shout to be heard. To get guests mingling right when they walk through the door, plan something that will break the ice, Hirst suggests. “A secret Santa, a white elephant or ornament exchange” will get all of your guests involved and should go with the theme of your party, she said. For decorations, “you can keep it simple and still get your holiday theme across,” Williams said. Red and green candles, holiday lights, a fire in the fireplace and the smell of cinnamon can set a festive mood.

Dinner or snacks The keys to what foods to serve are how long the party will last and what time of day the party is taking place, Seid said. “A party from 2 to 5 p.m. may not require as much hearty food as one that will take place through normal meal times, such as from 7 to 9 p.m.,” she said. “The more hours and if an open bar is served, the more food is required. Good protein and carbohydrate-type foods and water will help absorb alcohol.” “Remember that your guests don’t expect restaurant-style food. They are there to enjoy each other’s company,” said Williams. “I recommend make-ahead appetizers such as a shrimp tray and a lowcalorie option like veggies and dip. Remember, your guests may be dressed up, so it should be easy to eat.” “When it comes to food, the mood and your budget are important factors. If you want to throw a

five-course dinner party, and you can afford it, then knock yourself out,” said relationship expert April Masini (AskApril.com). “If you want to throw it and can’t afford it, consider delegating courses to your guests, knowing that this changes the tone of the party and makes it more casual. If you can afford to cater, then you’re free to enjoy hosting, and if you’re a control freak and a great chef, you might want to have your party center around the kitchen where the cooking is part of the entertainment.” When thinking about drinks, “make sure that you have enough non-alcoholic beverages in addition to spirits,” said Masini. “For instance, it’s nice to have hot coffee, sparkling water, sodas and juices in addition to alcoholic beverages.” If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to enjoy your party, too, said Hirst. “Keep in mind you should be ready to go at least 30 minutes before your event begins with music playing,” Hirst said. “This way when your guests arrive you are there at the door ready to greet everyone as they arrive, you are relaxed and set a calm tone versus if you were running around and still putting out chairs, setting up the food table as your guests are arriving. Your stress will rub off on your guests and may create tension.”

Playlist Your ideal playlist depends on your personal preferences. Some people like to hear the classics, while others would rather listen to updated versions by current musicians. Holiday playlists can also be interspersed with songs you and your friends enjoy listening to now. Here are a few ideas: “Wrapped in Red”: Kelly Clark-

son released her first holiday album in 2013. Check out the title track, “Wrapped in Red.” “When You Wish Upon a Star”:

Also new stock.xchng for 2013, Mary J. Blige serves up a tree-topping duet with Barbra Streisand. “Wonderful Christmastime”:

Paul McCartney plays all the instruments on this 1979 release that’s simply wonderful. “Frosty the Snowman”: The Jackson 5 covered Gene Autry’s classic with a stomping Motown version in 1970. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: Bruce Springsteen rocks

out in this Christmas classic that was released as a B side in 1985. “Santa Baby”: Sultry actress Eartha Kitt purred her expensive requests to Santa — like a sable under the tree — in 1953. “Little St. Nick”: The Beach Boys brought the rhythm and the catchy “run, run reindeer” refrain in 1963. “Little Drummer Boy”: It seemed weird when Ol’ Blue Eyes and Ziggy Stardust got together to record this touching classic, but Frank Sinatra and David Bowie’s 1977 duet stands the test of time.

“All I Want for Christmas Is You”: Mariah Carey dashes her way

up and down the octaves in this holiday favorite from 1994.


How to be a great guest By Melissa Erickson More Content Now

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“People are the real entertainment at a party. Good guests are the ones who can put aside the stress of the holiday season, work and life and really bring some sparkle to the party.” Joanie Williams

and hospitality, Hirst said. More tips:

n If something comes up at the last minute preventing the guest from attending, let the host know by both email and phone. n If the guest did not respond and wants to attend at the last minute, call the host to alert them. If the party is a sit-down dinner, the host should be willing to say the seats are filled and not to attend. Do not show up at the door unannounced.

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their TV so you can watch a game. If you are that into watching something, record it or don’t attend the party. n Do not bring unannounced extra guests. Call and ask the host if this will be acceptable. n Hosts appreciate gifts, but flowers may bring unwanted stress (find a vase, arrange the flowers). Consider a small potted plant or flowers already arranged in a vase.

Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

Being a good guest doesn’t require you to be the life of the party, but there are certain qualities that make for a great guest. “My dream guest is the person who realizes that their contribution is key to the party,” said Joanie Williams of The Dinner Party Planning Site. “People are the real entertainment at a party. Good guests are the ones who can put aside the stress of the holiday season, work and life and really bring some sparkle to the party.” A good guest has a number of responsibilities, starting with responding “to the invitation within one week of receiving it or certainly by the due date,” said Syndi Seid, etiquette expert and founder of AdvancedEtiquette.com. Guests should also be gracious, added Jules Hirst, director of First Impressions Etiquette Consulting in Los Angeles. A host exerts “a lot of effort to make their guests feel welcomed,” she said. A guest should find a way to sincerely compliment the host’s effort, whether that means complimenting the food or decorations or even sending a note after the party offering thanks for the invitation

n Arrive on time, and generally no later than 10 minutes after the appointed time. Arriving up to 30 minutes after the start time may be fine assuming the party lasts longer than two hours. n If you know you are going to be delayed, call the host to let them know, unless it is a reception/open house-type event. Then you may arrive up to 30 minutes past the invitation time. n Upon arrival, always locate the host to say hello and again when leaving to say goodbye. n Put your phone on mute or vibrate. If you need to take a call, excuse yourself to a private area. n Do not gobble up all the food and over-drink alcohol. No one enjoys a glutton or a drunken guest. Aside from what is considered legal drinking limits, know your limits and stick by them. n Be mindful that, if the invitation stated an end time, you should make your exit by then. n Mingle and meet people outside your social circle. n Need to light up? Ask the host where you can smoke. Don’t assume you can light up wherever you want. n Want to watch something on TV? Generally, it is not appropriate to ask a host to turn on

Tips for bringing your party to a close Your holiday party was so much fun, some guests just don’t seem to know when to leave. Rather than brusquely telling them to “hit the road,” etiquette experts suggest the following polite ways to encourage guests to leave:

ing them into the dishwasher rather than piling them in the sink shows you mean business.

Time to start

4. If guests are still lingering, ask if anyone needs you to call them a cab home. Have the

number handy and say, “It’s no trouble at all.”

5. When all else fails, throw in the towel. Express regrets for

1. Turning up the lights and turning down the music is a subtle hint that the party is winding down. Also, stop refilling drinks

and replenishing food near the end of the party. Fold up or put away any extra chairs. 2. Put the coffee on. Ask politely if anyone would like a cup of coffee before they head home. 3. Not getting the hint yet?

ending the party when everyone is obviously still having a great time, but because of a prior earlymorning commitment, you must end it.

MORGUE FILE­—

cleaning up. Put away the booze

and start cleaning dishes. Load-

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By Melissa Erickson

MORGUE FILE


Holiday travel tips By Melissa Erickson

Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

More Content Now

Traveling over the holidays can be busy, expensive and stressful. With that in mind, it’s best to be educated for a better travel experience this December.

Pack smart Pack wisely and you’ll be a happier traveler. SmarterTravel.com suggests rolling clothes tightly rather than folding — you’ll use less space. Plus they’ll be less wrinkled. Make a packing list to avoid forgotten items. Lastly, know your airline’s baggage policies, especially if you’re watching your budget — and who isn’t?

Before you go Hit the Web before you head to the airport. Technology allows you to avoid hassles and airport lines if you check in 24 hours before your flight is scheduled to leave, advises Travelocity. com. You can also print out

your boarding pass at home. You can even use your smartphone and double-check seat assignments, check schedule changes and possibly avoid being bumped.

Choose a small airport People often look at alternative airports to save money on airline tickets, and this is a good strategy during the busy holiday travel season, according to Orbitz.com. Chicago’s O’Hare and Los Angeles International are commonly listed as the busiest of the top 50 U.S. airports. Tertiary airport options can be a time-saver when you are traveling during peak times. For example, travelers leaving the busy San Francisco or Fort Lauderdale, Fla., areas can beat the crowds about an hour north at Sacramento International and Palm Beach International.

More travel farther The Christmas/New Year’s holiday period is among the busiest long-distance travel

Stock.xchng times of the year: The number of long-distance trips (to and from a ­destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 23 percent compared with the average for the remainder of the year, according to the National

Household Travel Survey.

Travelers are younger Travelers who begin trips during holiday periods are younger than travelers during the rest of the year, the

Transportation Safety Administration reports. The average age of Christmas/New Year’s travelers is slightly above 36. During the remainder of the year, the average age is almost 38 years.

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Tips for giving gifts to teachers, service providers By Melissa Erickson More Content Now

J

ust who do we have to buy gifts for this holiday season? Family and friends obviously make the list, but what about all those other people who intersect our lives, such as your mail carrier, daycare provider or hairstylist? Holiday gift-giving etiquette can be tricky and even vary by region. We should be giving gifts to “the service providers we can’t do without,” said Lindsay Roberts, founder of thegiftinsider.com. “The manicurist, the hairstylist, the masseuse, postal worker, babysitter, doorman, dog walker (and) housekeeper are the people that sometimes get lost in the

H H H H H

holiday gift-giving shuffle, even though we are so thankful for their roles in our lives.” You especially don’t want to forget anyone who provides a frequent service. “They deserve that extra thought of a gift. They know you well; you probably know them well, too. Consider their interests, their families, their spouses and buy it, wrap it and always add a handwritten card,” Roberts said. Suggested spending is $25-$50, or the cost of one service. “Try to buy something that they wouldn’t buy themselves. I love anything personalized,” she said.

Other tips As far as teachers, never give money, Roberts advised: “It’s all about the heartfelt thanks. A

“Make sure whatever you do is from the heart and has no ulterior motives. Holiday tipping and giving is about saying thank you and showing kindness.” Lindsay Roberts, founder of thegiftinsider.com

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a card and write an appreciative note; maybe even attach a flower,” Roberts said. What about those unexpected gifts? “Having a bottle of wine or any alcohol is a great solution to have on hand for those unexpected gifts you get and quickly need something in return,” Roberts said. “Doormen, dog walkers, postal workers (and) cleaners are the

homemade gift is a touching idea, from the parent or the child. In either situation, have the child include a hand-drawn note or picture.” The gift value should be about $10-$25. Who is it appropriate to gift with cash? “For the housekeeper or any trade that you know they would really appreciate some extra cash, put the equivalent of one day/ service in card and write an ap-

preciative note; maybe even attach a flower,” Roberts said. What about those unexpected gifts? “Having a bottle of wine or any alcohol is a great solution to have on hand for those unexpected gifts you get and quickly need something in return,” Roberts said. “Doormen, dog walkers, postal workers (and) cleaners are the people you see often, but don’t really know them personally.

This is a great opportunity to give a bottle of wine, champagne or a gift certificate to a restaurant that you think they might like. It shows you bothered.” Cost of wine, champagne or restaurant gift certificate should be about $20. Keep in mind that federal workers such as mail carriers cannot accept gifts of any kind worth more than $20. The purpose of holiday gift giving is not to attain better service in the coming year, Roberts said: “Make sure whatever you do is from the heart and has no ulterior motives. Holiday tipping and giving is about saying thank you and showing kindness.”

Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

Giving joy

Holiday Spa Packages

people you see often but don’t really know them personally. This is a great opportunity to give a bottle of wine, Champagne or a gift certificate to a restaurant that you think they might like. It shows you bothered.” Cost of wine, Champagne or restaurant gift certificate should be about $20. Keep in mind that federal workers such as mail carriers cannot accept gifts of any kind worth more than $20. The purpose of holiday gift-giving is not to attain better service in the coming year, Roberts said: “Make sure whatever you do is from the heart and has no ulterior motives. Holiday tipping and giving is about saying thank you and showing kindness.”

• • • •

Mr. & Mrs. Claus $145 Holiday Sparkle $95 Sugar & Spice $120 A Season to Remember $205 • Holiday Glow $100

Gift Cards are available! frenchdoorspa.com 3206 Longmire, College Station | 979-696-8992

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Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

Cold noses, warm paws Keep dogs and cats warm and dry in winter

By Melissa Erickson More Content Now

G

ot the sweaters out? Check. Weather-stripped your doors and windows? Check. Now how about weather-proofing Fido and Fluffy? Don’t forget your fur-covered friend this winter, because the cold can be as hard on dogs and cats as it is on us. Going out for exercise and to do their business is a necessity, so here

are a handful of items to help shelter your pet from nasty weather.

Fab Dog Red Skull Raincoat

fabdog.com

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$32 www.fabdog.com Stay dry and look fabulous in this pocket foldup raincoat made with a Velcro closure, mesh lining and 100 percent nylon shell. Features include hood with toggles, harness hole, a stylish rubber tag on back and on outside pocket, and a convenient loop with a snap on the folded pocket to hook to lead or belt loop.

Doctors Foster and Smith Cozy Cushion

Dog-E-Glow’s LED dog collars

$24.99 www.drsfostersmith. com Give your cat the warmth and comfort she seeks with drsfostersmith.com a heated cat bed that works like an electric blanket, minus the electricity. This pad can lay on a sofa, chair or the floor and features a core layer of thermoreflective material that uses your cat’s body heat to warm the entire cushion with no cords or electricity costs. Plus, it’s machine-washable.

$29.98 www.doggieglow.com Reflective gear is essential for night walks, and these fashionable, weather-resistant collars doggieglow.com combine the functionality of LED lighting with cool patterns that are even available in your college’s colors. If your cat or dog slips out the door, a lighted collar will make them easier to spot. Lighted leashes are available, too.

pawzdogboots.com

Pawz Dog Boots $15.95 www.pawzdogboots.com Waterproof and comfortable, Pawz Dog Boots are made of natural rubber and have no padding so your dog can feel the ground beneath him for ease of movement. Perfect for protecting paws in rain and snow. The natural rubber is strong and stretchy, easy to put on and secure once in place. Pawz are an economical choice because they’re disposable and reusable.

Reversible Puffer Dog Vest $40-$60 www.frontgate.com A water-repellent shell and warm quilted interior will keep your dog warm and comfortable for a winter walk or snowy romp. Available in three reversible styles and machine-washable, the Reversible frontgate.com Puffer Dog Vest features a drawstring at the waist and Velcro closure for a simple, perfect fit. Winter coats are especially good for small-breed dogs, which lose their body heat much more quickly than larger dogs.


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Stay connected with specials across the Brazos Valley

The Chicken Oil Co. 3600 College Ave. Bryan Mondays, All Day Half price burgers

The Backyard 303 University Dr. Wednesdays, All Day Half price burgers

Country Boy Grill 201 N. Main St., Ste. B Bryan Weekdays, 11 am - 2 pm $8 lunch specials

KIDS EAT FREE Sully’s Sports Grill & Bar 1037 Texas Ave. College Station Mondays, All Day Kids eat free from kids menu with purchase of adult meal

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill 200 Texas Ave. S. College Station Tuesdays, All Day Kids 12 and under eat free from kids menu with purchase of one adult entrée

C&J Barbeque All 3 Bryan and College Station locations Wednesdays, 5 - 9 pm 1 kids meal from kids menu, with purchase of adult meal of $6.99 or more

Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

FOOD

DRINKS Grub Burger Bar 980 University Dr. E., Ste. 400 College Station Thursday, 4 - 7 pm $2 white sangrias

The Tap 815 Harvey Rd. College Station Thursdays, 8 - 11 pm $2.50 bar drinks and $2.50 pints

Wings ‘N More Restaurant & Bar Both College Station locations Mondays, 3 - 11 pm $2.25 wells, $2.50 domestic drafts and $4.99 Big Willy domestic drafts 15

Add your favorite special to ShopBrazos. Submit a daily special for your business or restaurant by finding it on ShopBrazos.com and clicking “Add Special.” All specials subject to change, see business/restaurant for details. facebook.com/shopbrazos twitter.com/shopbrazos foursquare.com/shopbrazos instagram.com/shopbrazos


Thursday, December 19, 2013____________shopbrazos.com____________The Eagle

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202-A West 26th Street Historic Downtown Bryan (979) 823-8000 | jimnishop.com


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