Tailgating Essentials For the Love of Football

Thanksgiving is upon us and with that, comes my favorite “f'” words: food, family, friends, and football! We have some big rivalry games coming up this Thanksgiving weekend, including:

  • Michigan @ Ohio State
  • Okhlahoma State @ Oklahoma
  • Auburn @ Alabama
  • Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys

If you plan on going to any of these games, or even watching from the comfort of your couch, we’ve got everything you need (short of body paint) to grab a big W for your team without even entering the stadium. A sport in its own right, tailgating is not for the faint of heart. There is no limit to what can be grilled, chilled, or painted with your team’s colors.

 

Step it up from the keg in the trashcan routine and drink your beer the way the brewer intended with the EdgeStar Full Size Kegerator with Stainless Steel Door.

 

Stainless Steel Kegerator

KC2000SS- EdgeStar Stainless Steel Kegerator

 

Break out the Keg-a-Que Portable Stainless Steel Propane Grill at a moment’s notice to challenge any opponent to an impromptu grill-off.

Stainless Steel Portable Propane Grill

Keg-a-Que Grill

 

NEVER run out of ice for your mixed drinks with the EdgeStar Titanium Portable Ice Maker.

Titanium Portable Ice Maker

IP210TI EdgeStar Portable Ice Maker

 

And make sure that everything from your Kegerator to your Ipod dock has all the power it needs with the Peak 400 Watt Tailgate Inverter.

Tailgate Mobile Power Strip

Tailgate Power Strip

 

These products can help you throw an awesome tailgate party or a thanksgiving get-together that people will be talking about for years to come. I hope you enjoy the holidays with your friends and family and may the best team win!

Father’s Day Sale & Gift Ideas

Father's Day Banner

Just say NO to ties! Whether your dad uses the backyard to house his grill or his garden, keeps wine or beer in stock, we have the perfect gift to make his Father’s Day extra special – and none of them can be worn around his neck (at least not comfortably). Plus, we are currently offering an extra 5% off most products that are already discounted 20% off! Break the tie tradition and get on Dad’s good side with any of these choices:

For the Beer Enthusiast:

Krups Beertender Mini Kegerator   Nostalgia Electrics Kegerator   EdgeStar Dual Tap Kegerator   28 Quart Jockey Box

from left to right: Krups Beertender Mini Kegerator ($141.55*), Nostalgia Electrics Kegerator ($399.99), EdgeStar Stainless Steel Double Tap Kegerator ($616.55), 28 Quart 2 Faucet Red Jockey Box ($398.05)

For the Wine Lover:

Summit Countertop Wine Chiller   EdgeStar 26 bottle Wine Cooler   Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler   EdgeStar 155 Bottle Wine Cooler

from left to right: Summit 8 Bottle Countertop Wine Chiller ($341.24), EdgeStar 26 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler ($699), Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler ($94.99), EdgeStar 155 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler ($1499.99)

For the Grill Master:

 Outdoor Greatroom Company Portable Gas Grill   Minden Master Gas Grill   Napoleon Mirage Grill   Grill Dome Infinity Series Kamado Grill

from left to right: Outdoor Greatroom Company 20″ Portable Gas Grill ($219), Minden Master Gas Grill ($479), Napoleon Mirage Grill w/Infrared Rear & Side Burner ($1899), Grill Dome Infinity Series Kamado Grill ($799.95)

For the Gardener:

Exaco ECO Square Rain Barrel   Brill Razorcut Push Reel Lawn Mower   Good Ideas Compost Wizard Standing Bin   Exaco 39 sq ft Green House

from left to right: Exaco ECO 70 Gallon Rain Barrel ($208.99), Brill Razor Push Reel Mower ($239.99), Good Ideas Compost Wizard Standing Bin ($128.25), Exaco 39 sq ft Green House ($427.49)

*NOTE: All prices are valid as of 6/14/12, but are subject to change.

What are you getting Dad this Father’s Day?

Top 5 Mother’s Day Gifts

Happy Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is around the corner, but let’s skip the Hallmark card this year and give a gift that Mom deserves. Well, on second though, don’t skip the card — we know how sentimental they can be. But card or not, we have picked out five of our best-selling items, all perfect for Mother’s Day gifting.

Koldfront TWR4BL Wine Cooler1. Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler

Once considered to be a luxury item, the wine cooler is quickly becoming a staple in the home kitchen. For those with limited kitchen space, or those that just don’t want to take up a lot of space, the Koldfront 4 bottle wine fridge is the perfect wine cooler with its sleek, compact design. This wine fridge utilizes thermoelectric cooling technology so there’s no need for a compressor, allowing for super quiet operation.

 

Margaritaville Margarita Maker2. Margaritaville Fiji Frozen Concoction Maker

Get ready for BBQ season with the Margaritaville margarita machine. The ultimate drink maker, this machine can help you conjure up the tastiest of concoctions, including margaritas and daiquiris for the adults or healthy fruit smoothies for the kids. Perfect for a party or tailgating, this frozen drink maker holds enough ice to make 2.5 pitchers worth of your favorite drink with each use. It is the perfect gift for a mom that loves to entertain!

 

Cuisinart Espresso Maker3. Cuisinart Espresso Maker

Try out a double espresso, luscious cappuccino or spiced latte cafe style in the comfort and convenience of your own home. The Cuisinart espresso maker features a classic stainless steel design, cup-warming plate on top and a removable drip tray and cover for easy cleanup. This is one luxury that will make any mom feel special on Mother’s Day and everyday after that they get to wake up and enjoy this great gift.

 

Hugs for Mom Gift Basket4. Hugs for Mom Gift Basket

Made with moms in mind, this adorable, white picket fence planter is filled with wildflower honey, Ernest Hemingway Highland Select tea, lemon cookies, a bath sachet with salts, a votive candle, body glistening spray, a ceramic picture frame and more! This gourmet gift basket will bring a smile to any mother’s face by letting her know that she is being thought of, and the included picture frame will let her show off her gift (and who gave it to her) to others.

 

KitchenAid Stand Mixer5. KitchenAid Artisan Series Stand Mixer

The iconic KitchenAir stand mixer is something a mom’s kitchen should never be without. Renowned the world over for its quality and versatility, KitchenAid stand mixers have been and continue to remain a favorite of bakers, cooks, chefs and most important culinary artists of all — moms! The beautiful red colors of this specific stand mixer will serve as a great reminder of the love shared between her and gift giver.

 

What will you be getting your mom for Mother’s Day?

 

Living Direct Adopt-a-Family

wrapped presentsFor the past few years, Living Direct has been involved in the Adopt-A-Family program where families experiencing financial hardships get to provide a Christmas wish list.  A group of us led the Adopt-A-Family initiative and after having so much participation last year, we decided to choose two families this year.

Both families chosen were from the Austin area and consisted of a single mom with two children.  Personally, this is one of my favorite Give Back initiatives that we’re involved with here at Living Direct, as we have the opportunity to directly connect with a family in need.  We’re very happy and fortunate to be able to provide the Christmas that these families (especially the kids) deserve after having a tough year.  Both families that we chose were wonderful to work with and could not have been more grateful and appreciative for the help this holiday season.  It’s definitely a tear jerker to hear a mom say that she wants absolutely nothing for herself, but only for her children to have a good Christmas.

I have actually kept in touch with one of the families and feel very lucky to have met them.  They feel so blessed for all of the things they do have instead of feeling sorry for the things that they don’t.  Their optimism for 2012 is truly inspiring.  Last week I had a girl’s night out with the 14 year old daughter.  We had bought her all the wrong clothing sizes so I took her shopping and out to dinner.  It was really fun to get to know her better.  She is extremely intelligent, highly involved in bettering their community and knows exactly what she wants to do after high school and even after college.  I’m excited for her future and know she’ll end up making a difference wherever she ends up.

As this holiday season came and went, I am already looking forward to us making that phone call next year and telling a deserving family that Living Direct is going to help make their Christmas extra special!

Holiday Gift Ideas: Small Appliances

Small Appliances

Small kitchen appliances make great gifts for any occasion. They are affordable and usually appreciated for the purpose they serve. Finding the right appliance can be confusing and time consuming but with these tips we hope to make your next shopping trip a little bit easier! Do your research and make sure you compare reviews so the gift-receiver isn’t left with a useless appliance.   Here are the top three most common small appliances for gifts:

 

1. Coffee Makers

Kalorik Coffee Maker

One of the best and most popular appliance gifts for the holidays is coffee makers. These are excellent gift choices because they will provide the receiver with hot beverages, a great way to warm up during this cold weather period.

Coffee makers typically range in price. Choices vary based on your budget and the special add-ons you want to include that may or may not be necessary for its overall purpose. For the best decision consider the recipient’s taste. Do they enjoy bright colors? If so, the Kalorik 12 Cup Coffee Maker is a great choice, we love its bright cherry red color and it can make enough coffee for the recipient and their family. It also has great digital features for the high tech people in your life! We offer a variety of coffee makers available in different colors, serving sizes and features, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for the coffee lover on your list.

 

2. Mixers and Blenders

Tailgator Portable Blender          Oster 10-Speed Blender          Kalorik Stand Mixer

Mixers and blenders are the next most popular appliance gifts. They make the perfect gift for the baker in your life or your health-conscious friend who enjoys a morning smoothie.  Both are also usually inexpensive but again, the price varies depending on the features you want.

Does your brother love to tailgate?  Get the green Tailgator Gas Powered Portable Blender for him to enjoy frozen drinks at his favorite sporting event.  For the more traditional model, try the Oster 10-Speed Blender . Then we’ve got this amazing Kalorik Silver Stand Mixer, for the Betty Crocker in your life.  You can choose from any of our mixer and blender options that come with a variety of features.

.

3. Toaster

Cuisinart Toaster                    Sunpentown Breakfast Maker

And finally, another common appliance gift is the toaster. Many families use toasters every single morning for breakfast. You can choose a regular toaster for the typical 2-4 slice appliance, or you can opt for a more multi-purpose toaster oven, which can toast your bread as well as cook frozen foods and bake small quantities of cookies and small entrees.

Our Cuisinart Classic 2-Slice Toaster is the perfect gift for your friend with a modern kitchen. Or you can combine the conveniences of coffee and breakfast by giving this Sunpentown Stainless Steel 3 in 1 Breakfast Maker as a present.

Finding the right small appliance for your gift giving needs can be easy if you consider the functions and preferences of the user.  Small appliances are excellent gifts for loved ones; they will keep on giving, providing the recipient with freshly made coffee or cooked food and drinks for many years to come!

Must-Have Products for Holiday Entertaining

Tis’ the season to entertain!  Many of us love entertaining and the holidays but entertaining during the holidays can be downright stressful.  As a child you enjoyed all the festivities had to offer whether you celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah or, for some, maybe even Festivus! As we become adults we get to see the behind the scenes of it all and unless you have super powers you have had your challenges.  So here is a helpful guide on must-have products to make your entertaining season full of cheer!

Slow Cooker:

One of my favorite must-haves is the infamous slow cooker. This is a great product for even those nights when you have to fit in some holiday shopping and still manage to cook dinner for the family. The options are endless: you can make a wonderful, warm apple cider, an amazing dip for Christmas Eve, baked applies for dessert or, on Christmas, a hearty soup as an appetizer. Growing up every Christmas, we had Escarole and Bean Soup, super delicious and super easy!

Simply any appliance that allows you to get all of your other duties done while it does all the cooking is a life saver. There are some great options to choose from depending on your family/guest size. I typically have small get-togethers and find the perfect size for me is a 3.5 qt, like the Cuisinart 3.5 Programmable Slow Cooker, but if you have a larger family a 6.5-7 qt might be right for you. Check out the Cuisinart 6.5 qt Programmable Slow Cooker or the Kalorik 7 qt Slow Cooker for larger groups.

Knife Set/Food Processor:

Whether you are a purist or practical, you need a great tool to help with food preparation.  For the purist who really takes cooking to a higher standard, a great knife set is key. I highly recommend any knife set from the Ginsu Knife Collection as they are the epitome of high quality! For the amateur chef or the professional, you have a range to choose from. A couple of my favorite knife sets are the Ginsu Chikara 5  Piece Bamboo/Stainless Steel Set and Ginsu Shoku Ebony 8 Piece with Magnetic Strip.

For the practical chef who doesn’t have enough hands to keep up, a great food processor can help out a lot. Preparation is half the battle and these are some of the great options available: Cuisinart 4 Cup Food Processor, Cuisinart 7 Cup Food Processor and, for the budget-minded, Black & Decker Food Chopper.

Gravy Boat:

My father (who is a chef, so he definitely knows what he’s talking about) always said a good gravy boat is essential to a holiday meal as the gravy ties the entire meal together.  There are many wonderful gravy boats on the market today, but I have a new favorite.

What is better than a regular gravy boat? A heated gravy boat with a wide handle and nice design, the Next Level Gravy Boat.  Not only is it great for serving gravy, but it can also be used for morning brunch as a syrup warmer!  You could probably use it for many other sauces as well. I believe anything that warms something dear to your heart is a great product and a must-have!

Wine & Beverage Refrigerators:

If you are the type of entertainer to throw big lavish dinners, cozy get-togethers or rowdy parties (so pretty much, any type of entertainer), then enjoying a holiday beverage is key. Whether you love a cold beer, tall glass of wine or some bubbly, a great beverage or wine cooler is a big convenience. There are so many different options available that you are sure to find the right product for your needs.

Here are some wonderful units for all of you different types of entertainers:
– Cold Beer: EdgeStar 84 Can Beverage Cooler
– Cozy Get-Together: Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler
– Red OR White Wine: Koldfront 30 Bottle Wine Cooler
– Red AND White Wine: EdgeStar 46 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Coffee Makers:

Lastly, but definitely not least, is a great coffee maker!  Coffee is many things for different people. Some use it as their alarm clock to wake up, it’s what keeps others going throughout the day and for people like me, it is just nice to sit and enjoy a lively conversation over a hot cup of coffee.

If you’re going to be hosting a crowd this holiday season, then make sure you have enough joe to go around! Get a large coffee machine like the Cuisinart 12 Cup Coffee Maker or the Cuisinart Grind & Brew 10 Cup Coffee Maker. And don’t forget about the tea drinkers in your family, the Kalorik-JK31099 Dome Jug Kettle will help them feel right at home.

Gift Baskets: Perfect Holiday Gifts

I am very pleased to say that LivingDirect.com now offers a whole slew of gourmet gift baskets featuring all sorts of themes. Gift baskets make great gifts for the holidays because it’s easy to find the perfect one for anyone on your list, they combine an assortment of items that the receiver is sure to enjoy and actually use, and they arrive already all wrapped up. Holiday shopping doesn’t get much better, or easier, than that!

To celebrate the launch of our new gift baskets (and show you that they really do come in all shapes, sizes and themes), I’ve compiled the following list of my favorite/the most unique gift baskets that we offer. (I’d also like to add that one of the best elements of any gift basket is the very unique name assigned to it, so I hope you enjoy these choices as much I enjoyed picking them.)

7 Unique Gourmet Gift Baskets

Frosty's Winter Wonder Care Package1. Frosty’s Winter Wonder Care Package

There really isn’t a better name for the image of this wintery-themed gift basket. The care package itself is decorated with plenty of snowflakes and snowmen, and even comes with a miniature Frosty stuffed toy.

I imagine this gift basket would be greatly appreciated by any college student in the midst of studying for their exams – however, that might be said for almost any of these – or by someone who loves winter wonderlands. This Frosty Care Package also includes, but is not limited to, cookies, jelly beans and two different types of hot chocolate.

 

Junk Food Junkie Gift Box2. Junk Food Junkie Gift Box

Honestly, the face on the box scares me a little, but it’s probably the exact same face I would make if I received this gift basket in the mail. There’s something about a box full of candy that turns adults into giddy little kids.

I’m not sure there’s anyone that wouldn’t enjoy this gift box. It comes with a large variety of different sweets and snacks, including M&Ms, Skittles, Reese’s, Chex Mix, Frito’s chips, cookies and even popcorn! They definitely aren’t kidding when they say junk food, but the holidays are the best time to indulge yourself a little.

 

And the Race is On NASCAR Lovers Gift Chest3. And the Race is On NASCAR Lovers Gift Chest

Now that is a mouthful of a name for a gift basket, but it certainly captures the theme well. I’m not quite sure what some of the items in this gift chest have to do with NASCAR, but I doubt any NASCAR lover would complain about receiving them.

This gourmet gift basket includes NASCAR-themed pistachios (please, someone buy this and let me know how that works), a cooler cup, racing-themed candies, cheese and crackers, a snack mix, NASCAR note cards with envelopes, a NASCAR hat and a book on stock car racing. The best part of the package though might be that it’s not actually a gift basket, but a 10 pack cooler that all of these great items arrive in.

 

Mickey's Fun House Gift Bag4. Mickey’s Fun House Gift Bag

This gift basket just proves my point that you can find a gift basket for anyone on your list, including even little kids. Though I do suppose this Mickey Mouse gift bag would make a great gift for a Disney-loving adult too.

Mickey’s Fun House Gift Bag is great for keeping kids entertained on days when they are stuck in doors because of bad weather or they’re sick. It comes with a Mickey coloring book and crayons, a Mickey puzzle, a Mickey paint set with 2 canvas boards, bubbles, candy, cookies and play-dough. This bag would make a great holiday gift or a wonderful get well soon package.

 

A Sincere Thank You Gift Box5. A Sincere Thank You Gift Box

If you wish to express gratitude to someone in your life, then this gift box is the best way to do so. Just make sure that your thankfulness is genuine, because, as the name says, this gift basket is for sincere thank yous only.

A Sincere Thank You gift basket includes chocolate-covered pretzels, truffles, chocolate peanuts, coffee, snack mix, mixed nuts, more pretzels (also, possibly chocolate-covered), caramel corn and flatbread crisps – All the ways someone knows that you really are thankful for their help.

 

6Bullseye Treats Dart Board. Bullseye Treats Dart Board

This might be the most interestingly packaged “gift basket” on the list, possibly our site. In fact, I had to double check with my coworkers that this was even on the right page! At first glance it looks like an actual dart board.

The Bullseye Treats Dart Board would make a great gift for a guy that can’t get enough of the bar. It comes with 6 assorted cheeses for pairing with beer, which might not be as impressive as some of these other gift baskets, but the dart board can actually be used for games! A package of 6 darts is included.

 

Picnic for Two Hamper7. Picnic for Two Hamper

The Picnic for Two Hamper is a brilliant gift idea for any couples (newlyweds maybe?) or people who love the outdoors on your list. It not only comes with delicious food already packed, but it also includes two place settings ready to go!

The food items in this picnic gift basket include fruit slices, cheese, cookies, sausage, salami, chips and salsa, crackers, snack mix (seems to be a gift basket staple), mustard, caramels and pretzels. The only thing not included is the blanket.

 

 

There are definitely more interesting gift baskets on our site that you should check out. Leave a comment and let me know which one is your favorite! And while you’re at it, take a look at our Holiday Gift Center for other great gift ideas.