Monthly Archives: December 2014

How to survive the after Christmas blues

christmas-bluesThe week after Christmas is always the mini-season of limbo. We’re all different, and we all have different ways of dealing with the Christmas blues. Some may choose to spend the week opening presents while others might want an extra week off work. Personally, I just sit on the couch and make those New Year resolutions -either way, during this time, an old fashioned case of after Christmas blues can definitely be settling in.

What most of us do not know is that it is okay to grieve for those amazing Christmas days that are gone for another year – shed a tear, sing hallelujah… whatever you do, acknowledge the fact that there’s a whole new year that requires the best of your attention.   Get creative and create an outlet either by writing your feelings down on paper, writing a sad song, saying a prayer or painting a picture. It’s important to acknowledge the fact that the well-savored holidays are no more for another eleven months. It’s time to get busy-go back to the normal, mundane routine. A creative outlet would most definitely be helpful.

Sometimes, keeping a journal for when things get tough is a great idea considering that the after Christmas blues leave many of us feeling down and out. It often means back to work-miserable weather and a dwindling bank account balance due to all the expenses. One of the best things is creating something to look forward to. This will keep your spirits up. It might be a nice event or a work trip. Whatever it is, ensure that it is something worthwhile that will make you count down the days.

foodrunnersVolunteering for a good cause after Christmas might not be such a bad thing. Being selfless and focusing on others will certainly make you feel like you are contributing to something important. It’s important to keep your social life going. A true friend is one who sees you through a dark day. Putting yourself out there through your social life is important to boosting your moods after the festivities.

Also, you could spend your time watching some great comedy or rent a funny DVD. After all, they say laughter is the best medicine. Do not pile all your sorrows into readily available junk food. Sadly, this leads to unnecessary weight gain. Instead, focus your energy on things in the new year that really matter. Above all, as all the holiday food settles into your system, do not forget the value of a good work out.

Most importantly, getting back to your regular routine will help you feel normal. Although we may all feel beat down and uninspired after the holidays, take time to do something interesting -step out of your comfort zone. Indulge in things that make you step out of your comfort zone. Feeling too comfortable will make you feel uninspired and unmotivated. Show how brave you are by beating the after Christmas blues and taking the New Year by the horns!

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20 Last-Minute Holiday Gifts!

Oh-oh, it happened again- you forgot someone on your holiday gift list, and now you’re panicking. Not to worry, here are twenty last-minute gifts your forgotten person will love!

1. MagicKitchen.com Gift Certificate – give the gift of delicious prepared meals. Just purchase, click on the link in the email, then print and put inside a card. You can even print out some food photos like the one on the right, and include them.

2.  This only works if you know the person very well and know they want one, but a rescue dog or a cat will give joy to your friend and the new pet.

3. Champagne or a fine bottle of liquor- a single malt scotch, or a fine tequila, for instance.

4. Is it your bestie? Get her her favorite makeup.

infinity-scarf5. Get her an Infinity scarf from JC Penny’s .

6. Get him some Sennheiser earbuds- people are always losing their earbuds, and these are expensive, quality headphones.

7.  The quick, dirty, easy gift- an Amazon gift certificate in whatever amount you like. Tons and tons of choices for the gifted one.

8.  If the person you’re shopping for is a serious bacon lover, why not make them happy all year long with a Bacon of the Month membership from Zingerman’s.

9. Give a gift from the International Justice Mission– Combat Slavery, Defend Vulnerable Widows and Orphans, and other good works.

10. Artisanal Cheese Certificate from http://www.artisanalcheese.com/prodinfo.asp. For those who love good cheese.

11. A gift card from Ticketmaster. They can choose their own entertainment event!

designsponge-diy-12-19-merrilee-bearmug-212. Gift someone a handmade mug with this great DIY article from design*sponge.

13. Get down to the Crate & Barrel and pick up a cool Chalk Board Clock. Lets you fill in your own numbers, write notes or just get creative.

14. Get the iHome mini speaker from Staples. Big sound with a small footprint.

15. Got a cook in the family? How about a smoker from Target?

16. Le Cruset is always a beautiful gift for a cook. This enameled cookware is available at Macy’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

17. A decorative bowl from Williams-Sonoma is almost always a welcome gift. They are so beautiful!

18. Get down to Uncle Dan’s to get your outdoor lover a coat or jacket perfect for their adventures.

19. Make handmade bookends for the reader, with this DIY tutorial.

20. Digital cameras come in all shapes, sizes and prices. You should be able to pick one out at any department store.

 

There you go! We hope we were a  bit of help. Happy holidays!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Staff Product Picks

Chicken ParmigianaWhat dishes at MagicKitchen.com do the staff love best? Here are our picks for 2014!

Greg, CEO: My picks are the Chicken Parmigiana and the Mama’s Beef Lasagna. What can I say, I like Italian!

Crab-stuffed-SoleMichelle,  President:

Crab Stuffed Sole: This brand new low carb entree is deliciously light and flavorful.  The lemon butter sauce is smooth and creamy….a perfect complement to the crab stuffed mild white fish.  I love it paired with the creamy spinach.

Chicken Parmigiana: This dish is perfect every time I have it.  It pairs beautifully with a salad or pasta.  Perfect for a quiet dinner at home or for entertaining, it makes for a deliciously simple satisfying meal.

 

ShortRibs_BeerWineMelody, Website Manager: My favorite two dishes… it’s so hard to pick! Chicken Pot Pie is one. I’ve always liked it, and this is the best one I’ve ever had. The pastry is flaky and delicious, and there’s something…thyme? in the gravy that just makes it perfect.

The other would have to be Seared Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine Sauce. I’m a sucker for braised beef, and this is so perfectly tender, then it has the rich sauce.. Lovely. I can’t believe I didn’t pick a dessert! (My favorite dessert is the Panna Cotta- I had to say it!!)

Beef WellingtonAndy, Warehouse Manager:  I would have to say my favorite food that I have tried is the Filet of Beef En Croûte Wellington . It is full of flavor and is so tender, I can cut it with a fork.

My second favorite would have to be the Gourmet Cupcakes-Strawberry, Black Tie and White Tie. I love how moist they are. The only time my kids are still it seems is when they tried these cupcakes. Now I get asked on a regular basis when more cupcakes are coming home.

chocolate-ganache-cakeErika, Customer Service extraordinaire:  If I must pick two of my favorite dishes I have to include dessert. I just love that flavorful taste that the chocolate ganache cake gives my taste buds, it is so smooth and just the right amount of chocolate and sweetness!!!

As for my main course tough choice again, but I’m going to have to go with the short ribs in red wine sauce paired with some creamy spinach. Yum! So tender, flavorful and DELICIOUS!!!! As for the creamy spinach my first time trying it and I have to say I never knew spinach could taste that good.

 

If you want to give meals as gifts this year,  a great idea is to give a gift certificate, so the person can pick their own meals!!

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