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Things we want you to know: New Shared Connect Plan, Retail Installment Contract, Device Protection+, port-in and Smartphone turn-in required. Credit approval also required. A $25 Device Activation Fee applies. A Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee (currently $1.82) applies; this is not a tax or gvmt. required charge. Additional fees (including Device Connection Charges), taxes, terms, conditions and coverage areas apply and may vary by plan, service and phone. Offers valid at participating locations only and cannot be combined. See store or for details. Half off Smartphones: 50% off rebate on base model Smartphone devices. Rebate fulfilled in the form of a U.S. Cellular® Promotional Card issued by MetaBank,® Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Valid only for purchases at U.S. Cellular stores and Devices $399 or higher are eligible for $200 Promotional Card at the point of sale and remaining balance in arrears. Devices $200–$398.99 are eligible for $100 Promotional Card at the point of sale and remaining balance in arrears. Devices $200 or less are eligible for $100 Promotional Card at the point of sale. For Promotional Cards in arrears, allow 8–10 weeks for processing after final submission. Turned-in Smartphone must be in fully functional, working condition without any liquid damage or broken components, including, but not limited to, a cracked housing. Smartphone must power on and cannot be pin locked. Device Protection+ (DP+): Minimum monthly price is $8.99 per phone. A service fee/deductible per approved claim applies. You may cancel anytime. Property insurance is underwritten by American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida and provided under a Master Policy issued to U.S. Cellular. You will be the certificate holder on U.S. Cellular’s Master Policy for loss/theft benefits. Service Contract Obligor is Federal Warranty Service Corporation in all states except CA (Sureway, Inc.) and OK (Assurant Service Protection, Inc.). Limitations and exclusions apply. For more information, see an associate for a DP+ brochure. J.D. Power Award: U.S. Cellular received the highest numerical score among five providers in the North Central Region in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study —Volume 2, based on 43,300 total responses, measuring the network quality experienced by customers with wireless phones, surveyed January–June 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit Limited-time offer. Trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners. ©2016 U.S. Cellular 262263

• Inspire with toys

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as you rush from holiday to holiday

his year, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all within a day of each other, and the two multiday holidays both end on New Year’s Day. With end-of-year celebrations coming one after another, transitioning from holiday to holiday can ratchet up your stress level. If you really want to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest, it’s important to find ways to create calm in the chaos of party preparations, gift shopping, meal

planning and other forms of business. Here are some tips to remain calm and in control as you move through the hectic pace of the holidays:

Have a plan

The holidays are busy and stressful enough without adding uncertainty and last-minute challenges into the mix. Plan ahead for holiday celebrations so that you know well in advance what you’ll need to make a memorable gathering. The further ahead you plan, the more time you’ll have for preparation, so go ahead and create

your Thanksgiving menu while you’re sneaking treats from the kids’ Halloween stash. Start your Christmas shopping list at the same time. Establishing a budget can also help ensure you stay calm during the holidays. Overspending is one of the most stresscausing experiences of the season. Planning how much you’ll spend for gifts, decorations and entertainment can help remove the stress of watching the bills pile up. SEE

create calm



Smart ways to create calm


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Relieve stress with renting

The amount of clutter you need in your home always seems to increase with the holidays – from Halloween costumes and decorations, to dishes and silverware for meals. Trying to gather everything in time can be stressful, and figuring out where to store it all after the holidays are over can be even more frustrating. Renting holiday-related items can be a hassle-free way to get what you need without the expense of buying, the logistical challenges of borrowing and the headache of storing stuff after the holidays. Local rental stores carry everything you need to move quickly and calmly from holiday to holiday. You can rent Halloween costumes; chafing dishes, silverware, dishes and linens for a big Thanksgiving meal; and decor for Christmas and New Year’s. You can find tables and chairs, lighting, centerpieces and even portable dance floors for New Year’s parties. Visit to find an American Rental Association member store in your area, and remember to reserve

items early as the holidays are a busy time for rental stores as well.

Repurpose recipes

Your guest list probably changes from celebration to celebration. The big Halloween party might include friends from the neighborhood or co-workers; Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are for spending time with family; and your annual New Year’s Eve party involves practically everyone you know. Trying to make different dishes and entirely unique menus for every one of those holiday celebrations could drive you crazy. Try repurposing recipes and reusing dishes that are easy to make, impressive to eat and work for you and your budget. For example, the punch you made for Halloween could also be great for New Year’s, especially with a grownup flare. The pumpkin cheesecake that was the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving menu can be just as delicious for New Year’s. Since each event will probably have a different guest list, it won’t look like you’re repeating yourself.

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Soothe your senses

Gaudy store displays, flashing holiday lights, blaring TV and radio commercials – the sights and sounds of the season can sometimes get to be too much. Soothing your senses can help create calm amid the chaos. While it may not be possible to completely unplug from the sensory overload the holidays can become, certain tactics can help relax you. Try using aromatherapy at home and even in the office to create a scented oasis of serenity. Scented candles, potpourri or room spray in popular holiday aromas like pine, cinnamon, peppermint and vanilla can subliminally create calm. Music is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of the holiday season. If you love holiday music, playing it in the background while you tackle chores like meal prep or gift wrapping can help relax you and put you in a festive mood. Or, if you’re feeling overloaded with holiday music, put on something else that you find soothing – classical music, jazz or hip hop. Whatever works for you is the right background music to help you enjoy the season! (BPT)

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Books for everyone on your list this holiday season Gem lovers

Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution, “Gem” is a visual guide to precious and semiprecious stones, organic gems, and precious metals, and features over 1,000 specially commissioned images. “Gem” reveals the science, natural history, mythology, and true stories behind the most celebrated gems and jewel-laden artifacts, including the Hope Diamond and Queen Elizabeth’s pelican brooch. Readers can learn about the exquisite jewelry of cultures around the world, find out what characteristics are needed for a record-breaking gem, and follow the history of the world’s most famous jewelry houses and designers.

Star gazers

Chart the wonders of the cosmos with “The Stars.” Packed with threedimensional artworks of each constellation and new imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope, ground-based observatories and more, this guide features fascinating objects like glittering star-birth nebulae and supermassive black holes. The position, size and color of every night-sky object are revealed and a three-dimensional model of the celestial SEE




Tech at a good price How to save money on mobile devices this holiday season he holiday season is a great time to indulge loved ones or yourself with a mobile device upgrade. However, keep in mind that a high-quality device doesn’t necessarily need to be brand new, particularly if you are on

a budget. These days, refurbished devices can provide an affordable, highquality alternative to a new device that sells at a premium. While there is a myth that most refurbished devices were broken or had problems, this is a misconception. Many such mobile phones, tablets and accessories come from trade-in and upgrade programs, where owners sent in perfectly good devices so they can get newer models. Indeed, such trade-ins and sales are on the rise and the market for acquiring a previously owned device is getting easier to navigate. Whether traded-in or repaired, refurbished phones and devices from

Simple ways to save time and money during the holidays PHOTO CREDIT: BILLIONPHOTOS.COM - FOTOLIA.COM

The holiday season is hectic. Between shopping for gifts, preparing

reputable sources can be trusted to be in full functional condition. For example, those from MyWit on eBay undergo an extensive 65-point inspection of cosmetic, functional and radio frequency performance to ensure 100 percent functionality. Tests verify that every possible function that a customer can use (camera, audio, SIM, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.) is in excellent working order and RF tests ensure wireless devices deliver a consistent quality of connection and do not drop available signals. A previously owned device is also a smart option for the eco-conscious, extending the life of devices and reducing electronic waste – which can be particularly damaging. This holiday season, consider a great cost-saving secret on mobile upgrades, replacements, and tech gifts. Being willing to forgo the newest models can stretch your holiday budget further without sacrificing on quality. (STATEPOINT)

for guests and decorating the home, it can sometimes feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day or money in the bank to get it all done. Here are some great ways to stress less and save more time and money during the most wonderful – but busiest – time of year: SEE




No matter who is on your list this holiday season, great books make for great gifts. Here are five titles to consider giving knowledge-seekers to enjoy during the season, or as stocking stuffers:




sphere that surrounds Earth charts all 88 constellations. From the Big Bang to the search for extraterrestrial life, astronomy and cosmology topics are covered in an easy-to-digest visual format.

Automotive enthusiasts

Classic car collectors and enthusiasts will enjoy “Classic Car,” a visual guide created in association with the Smithsonian Institution. Featuring the most iconic classics of every decade from the 1940s to the 1980s from the Aston Martin DB5 to the Chevrolet Corvette, the book offers detailed profiles of trademark models, as well as the famous designers and manufacturers behind them, featuring more than 1,300 photographs and two prints suitable for framing.


Readers can build and explore 28 kidsafe experiments, crafts and activities with “Maker Lab.” Created in association with the Smithsonian Institution and supporting STEAM education initiatives, the book will get young inventors’ wheels turning, making science fun. Explaining science through photographs, facts and real-world examples, each activity is appropriate for

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kids ages 8 to 12 years old. Requiring only household materials, young makers can build an exploding volcano, make bath fizzies, construct a solar system and more.

Budding builders

Encourage builders to look at their LEGO bricks in new, creative ways with “365 Things to do with LEGO Bricks,” an interactive book featuring imaginative play and building ideas, from projects that take just a few minutes to those that keep one occupied for hours. Activities include building a LEGO pet, challenging friends to make the tallest tower while working against the clock, and organizing a LEGO bricks treasure hunt.

American Girl fans

Offer American Girl fans a treasured bookshelf addition with “American Girl: Ultimate Visual Guide,” which includes images of every BeForever and Girl of the Year doll, an expanded section on the TrulyMe dolls and a detailed timeline of the company. Readers can learn about favorite dolls, historical eras, outfits, pets, accessories and more. This holiday season, give a gift that inspires endless wonder.


Skip the checkout line

Technology is making shopping for gifts and entertaining essentials faster and more convenient. For example, the new Sam’s Club Scan & Go app lets you bypass the traditional checkout lane. Simply scan UPC codes on items in your cart and pay for them directly from your smartphone anywhere in the club. Once done shopping, all you have to do is show a digital receipt to an associate on the way out. At a time of year when it’s easy to over-spend, the app is also a useful holiday budgeting tool, keeping track of what you are spending while you shop. To download the app or learn more, visit (STATEPOINT)



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Rethink décor

Swap more costly flowers and wreaths for fresh fruit to create a festive feel without breaking the bank. Place lemons and limes in a clear bowl for a colorful centerpiece. Add cheer to doors by hanging a pomegranate from a ribbon. Use any of the extra citrus to garnish drinks. Add warmth to table settings by surrounding candles with pears and cranberries.



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Playtime learning Imaginative gift ideas for toddlers and preschoolers

Arts and crafts

Inspire creativity and foster fine motor skills with gifts for budding young artists. Watercolor sets, finger paint, stencils and markers are great age-appropriate selections. Just be sure any art supplies are non-toxic and washable. A great gift set idea? A blank smock and fabric paint

-- kids can design their own artist’s smock, which will inspire them to do even more art projects in the future. Offer to hang or frame your children’s favorite creations so they can proudly see them on display.

Thoughtful toys

Choose toys that are safe, fun and engaging. For example, the Go! Go! Smart line of toys from VTech features its innovative technologies that bring the toys to life, letting children explore cause and effect relationships while teaching first words, letters and more. Consider the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure, which allows kids to discover spatial play by building train tracks, and features its first motorized train that can climb hills on its own. When the train is placed over one of the nine “SmartPoint” locations on the playset, it will respond with lights, sounds and music. Toddlers can create a whole kingdom featuring princesses, princes, fairies and unicorns with Go! Go! Smart Friends

playsets, encouraging children to discover through imaginative play while building motor and language skills. Even more stimulating activity is encouraged with the turning telescope, swinging hammock, and secret trap door found in the Go! Go! Smart Animals Happy Paws Playland. For more information, visit “The vehicles, animals and characters spark children’s imaginations while keeping them engaged, promoting listening skills and encouraging their fine motor and cognitive development,” says Dr. Eliot.

Learning experiences

The big wide world offers plenty of opportunities for fun and learning, so consider gifting an experience to the birthday boy or girl. Whether it’s a puppet show, a day of exploration at the zoo or aquarium, or hands-on learning workshop at a children’s museum, the experience will not soon be forgotten! For young children, make birthdays and special occasions count. Great gifts can be both educational and fun. (STATEPOINT)


Whether you’re celebrating your own child’s big day or shopping for a friend’s birthday party, some of the best gifts for toddlers and preschoolers are those that inspire imaginative play. “Gift-giving for this age group should reflect the tremendous opportunity that play time offers for supporting early childhood development,” says Dr. Lise Eliot, early brain development expert and member of the Expert Panel at VTech, a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children. With that in mind, here are some fun gift ideas that will add value to children’s play time.


s g n i d i t d a l G

As the weather cools and the fireplace whets your appetite for comfort and relaxation, thoughts naturally turn to friends, family, good food and drinks … enjoyable moments this season so notably brings. Whether you plan to be the host or a guest at the festivities, you can make a lasting impression by offering up some tasty and carefully selected pairings of wine and appetizers. Sharing delicious food and drinks can be a great conversation starter and create memorable holiday experiences. Consider these suggestions for delicious combinations that will impress even your most experienced wine-loving and foodie friends.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Choose a bottle of Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon, hailing from where cab is king, sunny California. The enjoyable finish of this full-bodied wine features hints of toasted coconut and rich vanilla to balance out the dark fruit overtones. The meat lovers in your group will enjoy this wine with easy-to-prepare braised beef short ribs or turkey meatballs.

Toast to this trifecta of wonderful wines to share at holiday celebrations toasted wontons for your next dinner party to go with the light, red fruit and earthy elements typical of this varietal. Try the Moobuzz Pinot Noir, named after “the land of milk and honey” (the California Central Coast), which features an abundance of red currant, dark cherry, rich mocha and wild strawberry ... with a finish one critic compares to “a velvet blanket.” This is one you’ll want to snuggle in!

Prosecco You could even offer up a strategic selection of crackers and aged cheeses, ranging from a sharp cheddar to a higherend Chalosse or Reblochon. Picture those pairings as you reunite with friends around the holiday table.

Pinot Noir

A pinot noir can be an excellent introduction to red wine for the white wine drinker, and is a great choice for the holiday season because it pairs effortlessly with a variety of foods. Whip up a batch of salmon tartare on

Those celebrating a special occasion, or any day that ends in “Y,” may enjoy the festive White Knight Prosecco D.O.C. with crisp aromas of acacia flower, apple, white peach and citrus fruit, this bubbly is a nice change from the typical white wine. It is great by itself as an aperitif or as a base for a festive French 75 cocktail. Enjoy this lively sparkler with mini quiches at a wedding shower, gathering of friends or your company holiday party. Visit for information on where to purchase these wines, or to learn more about 3 Badge’s strong portfolio of award-wining beverages. (BPT)



Visit Lake Geneva’s vibrant downtown this holiday season to find gifts for everyone on your list! Explore more than 70 specialty shops that offer everything from apparel to jewelry, fine art, home décor and more. Then choose from dozens of distinctive dining options -- all within walking distance of the shops. Starting November 15, downtown parking is free!


There’s something for everyone ... Lake Geneva Downtown


Genuine facts

about artificial Christmas trees

For hundreds of years, the Christmas tree has been a popular symbol of the holidays. Most people celebrated with a real tree until the early 2000s, when artificial trees began to gain in popularity for their practicality. Advances in technology let designers make artificial trees that are both incredibly realistic and durable. In 2015, 81 percent of the more than 99 million households that displayed a Christmas tree used an artificial tree, according to the survey from the American Christmas Tree Association, conducted by Nielsen. Only 19 percent of American homes displaying Christmas trees last year used real trees. Artificial trees don’t need water, they don’t shed and they can last for years, saving you money over time. If you’re looking for an artificial tree this year, go online to find the widest selection and best quality for your budget, then consider these tips.

com, retailer of what have been called the most realistic artificial trees on the market. “A 7 1/2-foot tree, the standard for most homes, should have at least 750 lights on it.” Balsam Hill’s unique trunk design comes with premade light connections-just stack the sections together and plug into a wall socket.




Today’s artificial trees are designed for easy setup but the amount of time it takes to go from box to beautiful can vary. Check out the Snap Tree if you want more holiday fun in less time. Available in several branch styles and sizes, this tree is stored on its rolling stand and sets up in a snap, without heavy lifting of multiple sections.


Untangling and stringing lights can be difficult, which is why the most popular artificial trees are pre-lit. “Look for 100 lights per foot,” suggests Thomas Harman, CEO of www.BalsamHill.

Artificial Christmas trees molded from polyethylene, or PE, have what many say are the best quality, color and shape. Look for branches with a mix of brown and different shades of green in the branches. “Our designers carefully craft our trees to mimic nature using cuttings from live trees as their guides. So our Balsam Fir looks just like a real balsam fir in color and needle shape,” says Harman. For a truly different look, visit www. to find tinsel trees in a rainbow of fun colors. A good artificial tree should last at least 10 years. Look for a warranty of no less than five years on the tree and no less than three years on the lights. Proper storage will also extend the life of the tree. Most manufacturers will provide a storage bag for the tree and recommend storing the tree in its shipping box to prevent crushing. If you still want a real, fragrant Christmas tree, get the freshest one you can find – many trees sold in lots are cut in October. Fortunately, www. GreenValleyChristmasTrees. com offers premium tree species, grown in their native soil at farms across America. Pick the date you want your tree to be hand cut. It will be cut within 48 hours and shipped straight to your door. (NAPS)


Artificial trees are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit just about any home. Even lower-priced brands offer full (traditional), narrow and “pencil” trees in sizes ranging from 4 to 10 feet. Measure carefully and consider a “flatback” or corner tree if space is very tight.



Tree trimming 101

Dazzling decorating easy as 1-2-3


in apartments, condos or smaller living areas often feel stuck having to get a tiny tree because of limited space, when there are so many more options,” Griffith says. “Flat trees, which are very low profile and sit close to the wall, are perfect for tight spaces. Half round trees are another great option because they’re basically half a tree, while corner trees reflect their name because they’re shaped to fit into corners. These types of artificial trees create the impact of having a larger tree that in reality doesn’t take up all that much room.” Step two: Light it up. Once you find the perfect tree, figure out how many lights you really need. Griffith suggests using at least 150 lights per foot SEE





Shiny silver and gold, the warm glow of lights, dazzling bursts of color – O Christmas tree, your magic helps fill our homes with laughter and love during this merriest of seasons. And while gathering together to trim the tree is a beloved family tradition for many of us, let’s be honest; for others, it’s an intimidating decorating nightmare. But don’t be overwhelmed, it’s easy to go from dazed to dazzling with a few insider tips. Step one: Find the tree that fits your lifestyle. Designer John Griffith decorates dozens of trees and leads holiday design seminars for dinnerware giant, Replacements, Ltd. Griffith recognizes since we all live in different spaces, the picture perfect 7-foot tree won’t work for everyone. “People like myself who live



of tree to decorate just the tips. For more depth, use at least 250 lights per foot. And consider LED lights. Griffith notes that while upgrading to LEDs may be expensive initially, they’re a good investment in that these lights burn much cooler, last longer and are more energy efficient. Step three: Think in thirds. One of Griffith’s best practices: decorate in thirds. “This is one of the easiest ways to make sure your tree is balanced from a decorating standpoint,” says Griffith. “Start by looking at your tree as what it is, a huge cone, then section it off in thirds around the tree. For example, if you have 1,500 lights, use 500 for one section, 500 for the middle and 500 for the last section. Do the same thing with your ornaments by dividing them into three groups before you start arranging those on the tree.”

Stylize with ornaments

texture, movement and depth. It really adds richness to the tree, and the way the light reflects off this wire looks very luxe.” Finally, Griffith notes no tree is complete without an over-thetop tree topper. Really nice bows made from high quality ribbon look lovely, while he favors using feathers, branches, floral stems and other natural elements to put an exclamation point on the top of the tree. With these great tips, it should be easy to find your own flair to kick-off what’s sure to be a memorable holiday entertaining season. (BPT)

What’s hot for 2016?

Griffith says one of this year’s big decorating trends centers on monochromatic, such as using the same color lights (regardless of the hue) with ornaments in either all silver or all gold, but not both. “One of my favorite techniques is adding bullion to a tree,” Griffith says. “Bullion is a very thin wire you add on the outside tips in geometric shapes that gives the tree a different kind of

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While lights create seasonal glow, ornaments dazzle and delight, bringing out the child in all of us. Our choice of ornaments reflect more than individual style and taste – they’re distinctively sentimental. “Annual ornaments are always popular from a nostalgic standpoint because of the special memories connected to each one,” says collectibles specialist Kristen Pulley. “For instance, those made by Lenox China are very dear to me because of my two daughters. I started a collection for each of them when they were born – I began the teddy bear series for one and the gingerbread man for the other. As they got older and started decorating the tree, they liked them so much that now I have to get two of each series every year. It’s become part of our family tradition.” Among Replacements’ most sought after holiday annuals, the Wallace Sleigh Bell and Gorham Snowflake collections remain family favorites, having been in production going on 50 years. “Blown glass ornaments have really kept their popularity,” adds Pulley. “Production costs have gotten less expensive without compromising the quality making these more affordable to collect. For instance, Merck Family’s Old World Christmas ornaments are huge sellers, because you can find everything from traditional ornaments to fun, off the wall ones such as a piece of sushi or even Chinese takeout boxes.”


Top 10 ingredients to have on hand for easy, casual holiday entertaining Grandma in town? Unexpected guests? No problem! With a little planning and the right ingredients, holiday entertaining is a snap. Stock up on these fridge, freezer and pantry staples a couple of weeks before the holiday rush, and you’ll be ready – no matter who’s on your doorstep. • Whole nuts: walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews or pistachios; • Olives: whole and sliced, black ripe, green, Kalamata and stuffed varieties in cans and jars; • Cheese: feta, mozzarella, cheddar, and aged provolone (tightly wrapped or vacuum-pack cheeses can last in the fridge for several weeks); • Tortilla chips; • Salsa in a jar: mild or medium to please most palates; • Whole pita or pita crisps: pita bread can be frozen; • Hummus: choose a sealed refrigerated package; • Carrots, celery and bell peppers:

whole veggies keep longer than pre-cut, and these three are easy to find in the produce aisle; • Frozen cheese pizza: choose your favorite brand; and • Olive oil: a kitchen essential. These 10 basic ingredients are the building blocks for five delicious, partyworthy spreads that can be prepped in 15 minutes or less. Here’s how:

Fast Cheese and Olive Tray

Cube cheddar cheese, aged provolone, and mozzarella. On a platter, make rows of alternating colors with cubed white cheese next to a row of green Pearls Specialties Garlic Stuffed Queen olives, then a row of darker cheese and a row of deep purple Kalamata olives. Present with toothpicks and napkins for easy selfservice.


A simple cheese pizza is a canvas for appetizer art! Add fresh, thinly

sliced bell pepper, shredded mozzarella cheese, and a generous topping of sliced black ripe olives. Bake, then cut into mini-slices or small squares and serve on wooden cutting boards. Drizzle with olive oil. SEE




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Debunking bulk buying myths The truth that makes ‘cents’ this season

Baked Cranberry Apples INGREDIENTS 1/2 teaspoon Frontier Co-op Organic Ground Nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon Frontier Co-op Organic Vanilla Extract 1/2 teaspoon Frontier Co-op Organic Orange Peel Granules 4 Frontier Co-op Organic 2 3/4-inch Korintje Cinnamon Sticks 1 pound Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples 2 cups rinsed and sorted fresh cranberries 1/4 cup raisins 3/4 cup orange juice 2 teaspoons melted butter DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 1/2-inch top off the stem end of the apples. Remove the stems, leaving a small hole into which you can insert a cinnamon stick. Core the apples with a melon baller. Discard cores. Scoop out the inside of the apples, being careful not to pierce the skin. Chop the flesh. Set aside. Combine the cranberries, raisins, chopped apple flesh, orange juice, butter, nutmeg, vanilla, and orange peel in a medium bowl. Stuff this mixture inside the hollowed-out apples and place in lightly greased oven-proof dish. Replace cap on each apple, with a cinnamon stick through the stem opening. Spread any extra stuffing around the apples and bake in preheated oven until tender, about 45 minutes. (BPT)

With the arrival of fall and the approach of the holiday season, buying in bulk can be a great way to experiment with new recipes, stock your spice shelf for celebratory cooking and baking, and even discover ideas for creative food gifts. Here are four reasons to consider trying buying bulk this season: You can buy exactly the amount you want. Perhaps you’re trying 1. a new recipe that calls for an exotic spice you’ve never tried before. Rather than buying a large, pricey bottle of a spice you may not use again, you can go online and purchase exactly the amount of spice you need from Frontier. You won’t spend money on more than you need, nor end up with leftover spice you may not use again anytime soon.

Spice up your spice rack. Your spice rack probably contains 2. some staples you use often, like oregano, parsley, thyme, sage, etc. However, if you’ve ever avoided trying something new

because you didn’t want to end up with a large (often pricey) bottle of something you weren’t sure you would ever use again, buying in bulk is a great way to try a small amount of something new.

It’s more economical. Buying in bulk is less costly for multiple 3. reasons. Packaged versions of the same teas or spices typically cost considerably more than bulk product. That’s because it takes energy and resources to make and transport packages, as well as to dispose of the shipping packaging that protects the product from the distribution center to the store. Those costs get passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

Bulk is better for the planet. By eliminating packaging, bulk 4. products put less strain on the environment. Because bulk foods, spices, herbs and teas are typically presented in reusable containers in stores, there’s less packaging going into the waste stream, too. What’s more, bulk foods are more likely to be locally produced, so the costs and environmental impact of transporting them to the store is less than with packaged products. If you’re ready to begin buying bulk this season, try the Baked Cranberry Apples recipe from Frontier Co-op.



Bulk buying often gets a bum rap. If you buy into common bulk myths, you probably believe “buying in bulk” means going to a warehouse store to purchase bucket-sized jars of jelly or paper towel packages so large they barely fit in an SUV - all to supply a big family. Bulk buying, you think, isn’t for smaller families with smaller needs. Confusion is common about the difference between club purchasing and bulk buying. Club shopping requires you to have an annual membership at a specialized store that does, in fact, sell plussize packages of common foods and household products. It can be a great way for big families to save money. But that’s not bulk buying. “Buying bulk” doesn’t refer to the amount you have to buy, but rather to how a store presents products for purchase. Bulk foods like spices or grains are presented in large bins, allowing you to purchase exactly as much or as little as you need, rather than locking you into purchasing pre-packaged amounts. It’s an approach that particularly makes sense when you need just a small amount of something, or want to try something new but aren’t sure you’ll like it. What’s more, these days it’s possible to find bulk food aisles in some of your favorite grocery stores. Many stores now sell a number of products in bulk, from rice, flour and pasta to dried fruits, nuts and even sweeteners. You can also find bulk products in the aisles or for sale online from purveyors like Frontier Co-op, which sells organic and sustainably sourced spices, seasonings and teas in bulk.




Mediterranean Medley Place store-bought hummus into a colorful dipping bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and top with sliced Pearls Kalamata olives. On a large platter, surround the bowl with equal amounts of pita triangles, carrot and celery sticks, plus bell pepper strips. Serve with a bowl of Kalamata olives and cubed feta cheese.

Cheese-and-Olive Kebabs

Alternate cubes of mozzarella or

provolone cheese and any variety of olives on small bamboo skewers and serve on a tray, alongside pita triangles and hummus. Expert tip: Cut pita bread in triangles, brush with olive oil, warm in oven 350F for 5-6 minutes.

Olive Nachos

Fill a cast iron pan with tortilla chips, generously grate cheddar cheese over the top, and slide under the broiler until the cheese bubbles. Spoon salsa on top, sprinkle with sliced Pearls California black ripe olives, and serve on a heat-

resistant board.

Extra Credit: Easy Pleasers

Sometimes the simplest flavors are best. Fill several small, colorful bowls with Pearls Specialties olives, crunchy nuts, and cubed cheeses. A sprig of parsley, thyme or rosemary adds a decorative touch. The key to holiday entertaining is being prepared with a few simple ingredients so you can spend more time with guests and less time in the kitchen! (STATEPOINT)

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Tips to help keep children safe this season A holiday hazard

During the holiday season, it is important to be aware of potential firerelated dangers. Statistics show that your Christmas tree could be a big risk, with one in every 40 Christmas tree fires resulting in death.* Simple steps like watering a Christmas tree daily can significantly minimize risk of fire.

What to do

Shriners Hospitals for Children offers these simple reminders to help families Be Burn Aware and stay safe this holiday season: • Water trees daily. Discard when dry; • Keep trees away from heaters and flames; • Discard lights with bare wires, frays or kinks; • Never leave lit candles unattended; • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot reach them;

• Never leave a hot stove or oven unattended; • Keep a lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a pan if it catches on fire; • Follow instructions and cautions for heating items in a microwave oven; • Keep matches and lighters away from children and teach them that fire is dangerous; • Keep electrical cords from being trapped against walls. Make sure there is some space between them and any furniture; • Do not overload electrical circuits or extension cords; • Do not place electrical cords or wires under rugs, over nails or in high-traffic areas; • Shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark or smell. Have them checked and repaired or replaced; • Be careful when using portable heaters. Be sure bedding, clothing and other combustible items are at least three feet from space heaters; • Use fireplace screens and have the chimney cleaned annually; and • Install and maintain smoke alarms on every floor of the home and near every bedroom. Test them monthly.

Care beyond four walls

As the experts in pediatric burn treatment, Shriners Hospitals for Children provides critical, surgical and rehabilitative burn care to children, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Since Shriners Hospitals entered the burn care field in the 1960s, the survival rate has doubled for children with burns of more than 50 percent of their body surface. Today, patients with burns of more than 90 percent of their body can survive and go on to lead full, productive lives. “Our patients and families know Shriners Hospitals takes the role of caring for kids very seriously and that care goes beyond the walls of our hospitals,” stated Jerry Gantt, chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children. “Programs like Be Burn Aware help us to reach into the community to help keep kids safe. It’s just another way we send Love to the rescue.” For additional tips to prevent burn injuries, complimentary activity books and educational materials for the entire family, visit (NAPS)


According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the risk of house fires and burn injuries increases drastically during the month of December. However, there are ways you can protect your home and family.


Avoid disappointment –

Don’t forget the batteries!


If you want to avoid one of the biggest holiday season jumbles, remember the batteries when giving gifts to kids and tech lovers. Ninety percent of Americans have forgotten batteries for a holiday gift in the past, according to a survey by Energizer in 2016. And 44 percent of consumers take batteries out of their other devices to power a holiday gift if they forgot to purchase batteries at the store. So don’t let the phrase “Batteries Not Included” crush holiday cheer or require an anti-climactic run to the store. Parents will want to be especially mindful of ensuring gifts are ready to use, as kids can be extra eager to play with their new toys once opened. But whether it’s a remote-controlled car, video game controller or robotic pet, recipients of all ages will want to enjoy their gifts right away, so don’t forget to read the labels on holiday items and be prepared. Remember, batteries make for great stocking stuffers. And this year, you can get prepped for holidays present and future, as Energizer MAX AA batteries allow them to hold power for up to 10 years while in storage. They also offer long-lasting power and are designed to prevent damaging leaks, so gifts stay fun longer. More information can be found at Even the best holiday gifts can lose their luster without batteries to operate them. Ensure the holidays end on a high note by remembering the batteries with your gifts this year. (STATEPOINT)

2016 Holiday Calendar of Events Shop Downtown Elkhorn this Holiday Season

"Broadway Santa" Presented by the Lakeland Players


November 26-27 & December 3-4. All performances are at 4pm and tickets are $10 available at the Elkhorn Chamber or by calling the ticket manager at 262-812-3866.

Community Tree Lighting Ceremony & Santa Reception Join Peoples Bank Friday, December 2 at 6:30pm as we light up the town with the man himself, Santa Claus. Afterwards travel to Matheson Memorial Library for the Santa & Mrs. Claus Reception 6:45 -8pm. Be sure to bring your camera to capture your child's special moment!

4th Annual Reindeer Run Saturday, December 3rd. 5K Run/Walk at Sunset Park prior to the Christmas Card Town Parade. Prizes will be awarded to the top winners: best holiday dressed, best elf costume and best Santa.

Annual Holiday Cookie Sale

A Child's Nutcracker Presented by Toe to Toe Ballet December 16th-18th. Performances are held at the Walworth County Performing Arts Center (Sprague Theatre). Tickets are $12 and available at the Elkhorn Chamber & Toe to Toe Ballet School. Show times Dec. 16th @ 7pm, Dec. 17th @ 2pm/7pm and December 18th @ 2pm.

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The Christmas Barn An Experience Worth Waiting For

A Charming Holiday Atmosphere featuring antiques, gifts and an eclectic group of artisans showcasing their creativity.

Friday: 10-5 Saturday: 10-5 Sunday 11-4

Holton Band Holiday Concert Saturday, December 10th at 7:30pm. Enjoy a free holiday concert form the Holton Band at the Walworth County Performing Arts Center (Sprague Theatre) in Elkhorn. Christmas Dinner Sunday, December 25th from 2-4pm. Free community meal with a goodwill offering. Sponsored by the Elkhorn Kiwanis Club held at Matheson Memorial Library located at 101 N. Wisconsin Street. .

For more Information go to

Saturday, December 3 at 10:00am. Buy your Holiday Cookies from First Congregational Church. They sell out Fast!


35th Annual Christmas Card Town Parade Saturday, December 3 at 1:30pm. Bundle up the family and come see the many floats, novelty acts, mascots and more parade throughout downtown Elkhorn. For parade entry information call 262-723-5788.

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Nov. 4 -Dec. 18 Seven Holiday Weekends! Like us on Facebook In the Heart of Walworth County. Centrally Located Between Elkhorn, Delavan and Lake Geneva


2016 Christmas Cards "Christmas-Remembering Friends Old and New" Christmas Cards are available at the Elkhorn Chamber of Commerce as well as local distributers. We have all the past years, as well as, the New 2016 card. One for $1.00 or a Bundle of 10 for $10.00. Located 203 E. Walworth St.

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Holiday happenings

The “Christmas Vacation” Christmas parade in downtown Burlington marches from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2. The Christmas tree lighting will be in Wehmhoff Square Park immediately following the parade. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to do the lighting and then retreat to the Chalet where they will be meeting children eager to tell them what they want for Christmas. Also, in the park, will be Live Reindeer, carolers, hot chocolate, cookies and music for all to enjoy. For more information, call 262-763-6044.

East Troy

The East Troy Electric Railroad’s Santa Parade Train will make its annual journey into town on Saturday, Dec. 3. Festivities will begin at East Troy Village Square Park at 5 to 8 p.m., including a tree lighting, winter activities and photos with Santa. Presented by the East Troy Electric Railroad in conjunction with the East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce and Mukwonago Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Center, the holiday lit fourcar train will travel down the century-old interurban trolley line between Mukwonago and East Troy. Spectators, who aren’t aboard the train, can catch a glimpse of Santa along Highway ES. The train will stop briefly at the following crossings: • 5:30 p.m., train departs from The Elegant Farmer; • 5:45 p.m., Army Lake Road – Army Lake Camp; • 6 p.m., St. Peter’s Road; • 6:15 p.m., Byrnes Street; • 6:25 p.m., Division Street: and • 6:30 p.m., Santa arrives at Village Square A gift for everyones Backyard Barnyard

via East Troy Fire Department truck. For more information, call (262) 642-3770 or (262) 363-7758. In anticipation of Santa’s arrival, festivities will begin on the East Troy Village Square at 6 p.m. with concessions, winter activities and a Christmas carol sing-along. The East Troy Lioness Club will once again be serving walking tacos, hot dogs and hot chocolate at the Lion’s Lodge on the square starting at 5 p.m. Professional photos of children with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available following the tree lighting at about 6:40 p.m. at a cost of $8 each, with the proceeds to benefit the East Troy Food Pantry. All participants will get a digital copy of their photo.


The annual Christmas Card Town Parade in Elkhorn will be held at 1:30 p.m., Dec. 3. Each entry is asked to donation 10 nonperishable food items or $10 to support the Elkhorn Food Pantry. Santa is already booked for the parade so entries are asked not to try and include Santa on their floats. Staging will take place at the Walworth County Fairgrounds where the parade route begins and ends. Elkhorn’s fourth annual Reindeer Run is also Dec. 3, from 8 to 10 a.m. The run starts and finishes at Sunset Park. Awards in categories of fastest finishers and best holiday dressed. Refreshments, music and more. For more information, visit www. The Lakeland Players will present their children’s holiday musical “Broadway Santa” on Dec. 3 and 4. Showings are at 4 p.m. at the Walworth County Performing Arts Center, 15 W. Walworth St., Elkhorn. Tickets are $10 and available at the Elkhorn Chamber of Commerce, by calling

the ticket manager at (262) 812-3866 or online at

Lake Geneva

The 41st annual Electric Christmas Parade, “Celebrate Your Inner Elf,” begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. Parade route begins at Williams and Marshall streets, then heads south on Broad Street, west on Main Street, and north on Cook Street. Santa and his reindeer will welcome visitors to downtown Lake Geneva from noon to 4 p.m. The Geneva Lake Museum, 255 Mill St., will also be hosting “A Victorian Christmas” from noon until 3 p.m. on Dec. 3. Family fun, entertainment and cookies. Free admission. For more information, visit


The annual Palmyra Christmas Parade is set for 5 p.m., Dec. 3. The winner of last year’s parade will have the honor of having Santa Claus on their float this year. Line up at 4 p.m. on Anemone Avenue; the parade will travel down Main Street, ending at Fifth Street. Judges will select the most original float (not including the one with Santa on it) as a winner. Warm up before the parade with cookies and hot cocoa in front of Squidy’s, courtesy of the Palmyra Lioness; after the parade, the club will be selling hot dogs and chili inside. The annual Christmas tree lighting and holiday singing event will be held at the Turner Museum following the parade where special guest, Santa, makes a stop. SEE




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Shopping extravaganza in Twin Lakes will be Dec. 2 and 3, at St. John’s Community Center, 701 N. Lake Ave, Twin Lakes. This year’s theme is “Winter Wonderland.” Times are 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Crafters, vendors, tree decorating and gingerbread contests and a Kids Korner. For more information, visit

Midnight Magic, sponsored by the Mukwonago Area Chamber of Commerce, takes place from 10 a.m. until midnight on Saturday, Dec. 3, at sites throughout the community. Under the theme, “Christmas in Candyland!” the event will include professional pictures with Santa, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.; Gingerbread House Contest and Parade of Gingerbread Men Silent Auction at Brooklife Church, 4 to 9 p.m.; Alaskan Malamute Dog Sled Pull, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Marketplace/Craft Fair with more than 120 vendors and meal options, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Horse Drawn Carriage Rides at Citizens Bank, 4 to 10 p.m.; Christmas Parade, 3 p.m.; Live Nativity Scene at St. Johns Lutheran Church, 5, 6 and 7 p.m.; Vintage Baseball Game, 11 a.m.; holiday entertainment throughout the village and fireworks at 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.


Waterford’s annual Christmas Parade will step off from Main Street at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet children in the library following parade.

Union Grove

The Christmas Comes to Union Grove is set for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Village Square Park. Families enjoy the annual tree lighting, refreshments and music provided by the Greater Union Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and Christmas Comes to Union Grove sponsors. Children will be awaiting the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Claus on the Fire Engine who bring stockings for all children 11 and younger. The annual Union Grove Holiday Craft Fair, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Union Grove Elementary School, 1745 Milldrum Ave. Crafts, art, gifts,

Twin Lakes

The Trees on Parade and Holiday

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The Holiday Parade of Lights in Whitewater will begin at 6 p.m., Dec. 2. The Whitewater City Market will host a special winter market in conjunction with parade activities. Parade lineup begins at 5:30 p.m. with the route traveling along Main Street from Whiton to Whitewater streets, ending near the SweetSpot Café. The winter market will run from 4 to 8 p.m. that evening at several locations. Additional activities surrounding the parade include: s’mores, story time, cookie decorating and a chili dinner.

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