Why We Love to Dress Like Athletes

  • February 25, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell

It seems to have reached epidemic proportions.  Wearing sports or athletic gear just for fun and casual wear is more popular than ever.  It doesn’t seem to be all that important if one is athletically inclined or not, wearing the right sports attire is what seems to matter the most and fitness (or even pseudo-fitness) as fashion is a trend that simply cannot be ignored.   Whether you are wearing a well-known athlete’s sponsored sneakers, a big name player’s jersey or just your favorite local team’s t-shirt, we all seem to love being athletic supporters.  We do love our athletes and there are many loyalists who quite simply, love their teams so much that wearing their team’s gear is their way of showing expressing it.  Wearing appropriate clothing to support your favorite team or athlete is also considered cool and goes right along with the most rapidly growing apparel segment in the market today--active wear.  If you find yourself reaching for your favorite sports gear over and over--here’s a few reasons why!

Admiration:  It’s easy to have admiration for those that have outstanding athleticism and talent.  Whether it’s football, basketball, baseball, or even cheerleading--it’s inspiring for us average Joe’s to see what these awe-inspiring athletes can do and to note what their accomplishments are.  Perhaps by wearing the same shirt or pair of shoes as they do makes us feel just a little bit a part of who they are. 

Passion:  Most great athletes didn’t get to where they are in their careers by sitting on their laurels.  If you read the back-stories on most athletes, their life stories are often filled with setbacks, unique trials they’ve overcome, and they often have a unique ability to keep an eye on their dreams and remain steadfast in moving toward them.  These super athletes have a drive and passion that is unsurpassed and unwavering, which for most of us can be very inspiring.

Role Models:  Many of us, especially our children, look up to super athletes as role models.  It’s a form of hero worship that is simply undeniable and whether the athlete is deserving of such adulation or not, still many youngsters do look up to them, simply because of their outstanding athletic achievements.  It can be disappointing to many fans when a well-known athlete behaves in a way that is socially unacceptable or inappropriate.  Even though like anyone else, these athletes are just human beings, somehow with their infamy and elevated stature, we expect them to behave in a way that respects how many of us look up to them, even though this is frequently not the case. 

Love Of The Game:  Sometimes it’s not about any athlete in particular per se, but wearing sports gear is simply a gesture of expressing one’s love of the game.  Pick a sport, whatever that sport may be, and you can bet that there is appropriate fan gear designed for you to wear to show your love and appreciation.  Obviously, fans love getting geared up for attendance at any athletic event, but nowadays, the masses enjoy wearing sports gear every day or just for casual wear purposes.

It’s fun to show your appreciation for your team or for your favorite player by dressing up in appropriate athletic gear or by wearing a part of their uniform.  Allow yourself to live a little bit vicariously through your favorite team or athlete and wear your sports gear with pride! 


Dark Skies: When Horror and Aliens Collide

  • February 20, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell

Another heart-pumping flick is about to make it’s way to a theatre near you! Dark Skies, a much-awaited suspense film will be in theatres Friday, February 22nd. The trailer looks pretty epic and around these parts, we can’t wait for another heaving dosing of things that will go bump in the night!

Dark Skies hopes to perfectly juxtapose the jumpier and spine-tingling aspects of psychological horror with a modernly twisted storyline that weaves a tale of truly evil extraterrestrials who are bent on abduction.

In Dark Skies, the suburban Barret family appears to be an average family and all too normal at the outset, but this normality begins to change rather quickly.  Strange things begin to happen to the family and it appears that the children have been somehow targeted.  The Barret family’s once peaceful existence is rocked to the core by a series of truly alarming and frightening events.  Even the neighbors have begun to notice the strange behavior of their once ordinary neighbors and think the Barret’s have basically gone nuts.   Terrified and confused, the Barret’s, as a way to conceal the barrage of strange events, are forced to isolate themselves further and further from those they once called their friends.

As very bizarre and frightening events continue to take place and escalate in their lives, the Barret’s begin to realize that a powerful force is entering their home at night and is somehow preying upon their children.  Frightened and very afraid, the Barret’s still must find a way to take on this unknown and clearly deadly force themselves as they search to find a way to take matters into their own hands.

The media scuttlebutt has compared this new film to “Poltergest”, (think back a few years) but rather than a ghostly haunting, Dark Skies features an alien takeover.  The aliens in Dark Skies don’t appear to be nice, friendly or simply curious ones, either.  These sinister beings seem to have chosen one of the Barret’s kids as their victim; could someone they know also possibly be an insider?

Dark Skies stars Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton and Dakota Goya and will be in theatres Friday, February 22.  Getting this scared might be just what you need to help beat the winter chill--check it out!  “Once you’ve been chosen, you belong to them!”


Shocking Presidential Facts

  • February 18, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell

Each year in February, on the third Monday of the month, we celebrate President’s Day.  The banks and post offices are closed, and the kids are out of school, and for most this holiday rounds out what has traditionally become winter’s favorite three day weekend.  Although the stores are filled with epic sales and three day weekends are always welcome, this holiday is really meant to pay homage to the men who have served as America’s greatest leader, the President of the United States.  In honor of President’s Day (and to make it a whole heckuva lot more fun!) we’ve put together some little-known trivia as well as fun facts about the men that have held America’s highest office.  Enjoy!

Sizing them up:  The shortest and likely the smallest President was James Madison, who stood at only 5’ 4” tall and was said to weigh less than 100 pounds. The tallest president was Abraham Lincoln who was 6’ 4” tall.  William Howard Taft was by far the most rotund President, weighing in at 322 pounds.   It has been rumored that once President Taft actually got stuck in the White House bathtub after which he promptly ordered a new one to be installed.  The new tub was so large that it would actually hold 4 average sized men.  (Sounds like a hot tub party to me…)

Age Appropriate:  The oldest Pres to ever hold office was Ronald Reagan, who took office at the ripe old age of 69 years old.  The youngest elected President was John F. Kennedy who took office at the age of 43, although after President William McKinley was assassinated in New York in 1901, Roosevelt then took office and at that time Roosevelt was a mere babe at the age of 42.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!  The tradition of the Presidential first pitch that opened up baseball season began with William Taft.  Since this time, every President except one has opened up at least one baseball season by tossing out the infamous first pitch.  The one exception:  Jimmy Carter, who apparently just wasn’t a baseball fan.

You Can’t Say That Here!  Andrew Jackson’s potty mouth Parrot wouldn’t stop swearing and cursing at his own owner’s funeral and due to the obscene disruption was promptly removed! 

We Don’t Need No Education: Andrew Johnson was the only President that never attended a single day of school in his entire life.  Not one. 

Didn’t You See that Speed Limit Sign?  Ulysses S. Grant apparently didn’t and was said to have received an actual speeding ticket to the tune of twenty big ones.  His big offense?  Riding his horse (yes…his horse!) too fast.

Oh How Embarrassing: Dwight Eisenhower’s dog was apparently banned from the White House after it left a “present” on the floor of the diplomatic reception area.  Diplomatic, indeed.

Take that, Kitty Cat!  Theodore Roosevelt was said to have once killed a mountain lion single handedly with nothing but his personal knife after the lion went after and attacked his dogs.

Saved By Electoral College! John Q. Adams, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush all hold the distinction of winning the Presidential election without actually winning the popular vote.

Wayyy Too Much Talking:  William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia one month to the day after giving the longest U.S. Presidential Inaugural speech on record.  That takes talking yourself out to a whole new level.

Happy President’s Day from Halloween Express!


President’s Day: Time to Brush Up On Your Lincoln Trivia!

  • February 13, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell
Next Monday, February 18, is President’s Day.  Although originally designated as Washington’s Birthday, now the President’s day holiday honors both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as any other man who has served as the head guy in the Oval Office.  This year, with the feature film “Lincoln” still holding firmly to one of the top 10 movie spots at the box office, it might be a great time to add a little honorary historic remembrance to your President’s Day by seeing this 10-time Oscar nominated film.  You might even learn a thing or two about this great President.  Just to help you brush up on your Lincoln trivia, here are a few little tidbits and little known facts about Lincoln--use them to impress your friends! 10.  Lincoln has no living posterity.  Even though Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln had four sons, 3 of the 4 died very young (Edward-age 4, Willie-age 12, Tad-age 18) and Robert, who was Lincoln’s only son that lived into adulthood, had his only known descendant pass away in 1985. 9. Lincoln’s son had his life saved by the future presidential assassin’s brother.  One day while at the train station, Lincoln’s son Robert fell between the platform and the train as the train began to move.  Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth (who later would assassinate the President), quickly pulled Robert Lincoln out of danger, saving his life. 8. President Lincoln felt he should serve in battle during the Civil War.  Although his presidential obligations obviously prevented it, word got out that President Lincoln had regrets about not fighting in battle since he was clearly the leader of the nation’s military.  J. Summerfield Staples volunteered to fight in the war in President Lincoln’s stead.  He served in (and survived) the war. 7.  Lincoln had an epic beard.  Lincoln was the first President to have a beard while serving in office. 6. Lincoln was an inventor and held a patent.  Lincoln was the only known President to obtain a patent.  In 1849, Lincoln’s patent was obtained for a device that lifted ships over shoals through a type of buoying mechanism.  This invention, however, was never put into practical use. 5. Lincoln was the first president who started speaking about women’s rights and at one point suggested that women should be extended the right to vote. 4.  Lincoln’s Inaugural portrait.  Lincoln was the first President to have his photograph taken at inauguration.  Apparently standing near the President in the photograph was John Wilkes Booth, the man who would later assassinate him. 3.  Robert Lincoln was close to 3 Presidential assassinations.  Not only was Robert invited (but declined) to attend the theatre the evening his father was assassinated but also he unfortunately found himself close by 2 other Presidential assassinations.  Robert was invited to meet President Garfield at the train station in Washington, D.C. when he was an eyewitness to Garfield’s assassination.  Robert was also invited to a New York fair where William McKinley would be assassinated. 2. Lincoln had a premonition about his death.  Not long before his assassination, Lincoln had a dream in which he heard crying in the White House.  When he inquired as to who had died, he was told that it was the president.  He peered into the coffin that was there and apparently looked down onto his own deceased face. 1. Urban Legends about Lincoln and Kennedy.  There are many odd coincidences that surround the lives of both President Lincoln and President Kennedy.
  • Both Lincoln and Kennedy were shot in the head on a Friday.
  • Lincoln and Kennedy were elected to congress exactly 100 years apart. Lincoln in 1846, Kennedy in 1946.
  • Lincoln and Kennedy were elected to be President 100 years apart, Lincoln in 1860, Kennedy in 1960.
  • Both Lincoln and Kennedy had successors that had the last name Johnson. (Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Johnson.)
  • The men that assassinated each of these Presidents were known by three names.  (John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald.)
  • Lincoln and Kennedy each have 7 letters in their surnames.  Their assassin’s names each contain 15 letters.
  • Lincoln was shot in Ford’s theatre.  Kennedy was shot while riding in a car (a “Lincoln” made by Ford.

Scary Movies: Opt In for Valentine’s Romance

  • February 11, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell

Now here’s a novel idea for Valentine’s Day.  How about hitting the movie theatre for a super scary or even a good ol’ monster movie? Nothing says romance like a good scare--right?  I’m kidding of course, and you’d be justified if you were a tad dubious about why I might be suggesting seeing one of these types of films for what is supposed to be the ultimate day to celebrate love and romance.  Work with me on the idea for a second though, because a sexy dinner followed by an epic thriller might actually work quite well for Valentine’s Day after all.

Witches. First of all, even though it’s February, there seems to be a downright bounty of really fantastic, scary-ish movies at the theatres right now.  These aren’t at all the ordinary “things that go jump in the night” type of films, either. Beautiful Creatures, a witch-themed thriller, is set to hit the theatres conveniently right on February 14.  Beautiful Creatures is the first of a series of movies that is based on the bestselling books, “The Caster Chronicles”.  The story line is focused on a teenage girl living in a small southern town who possesses witch-like powers.  The ultimate battle between good and evil then ensues. Plus, (and here’s the twist) there’s a little bit of forbidden love thrown in there as well.  See, I told you I was getting to the romance part.

Zombies. If you haven’t seen “Warm Bodies” yet, this is a zombie-themed film that also has a bit of romance in it, as well as a life changing love twist, perfect for you true romantics.  R, who has succumbed to the zombie epidemic, meets Julie (a human survivor) and actually saves her from a zombie attack.  (What is going on here?  A zombie with a conscience?) Julie sees something in R that she finds different from your average zombie and becomes inexplicably drawn to him.  An odd but meaningful relationship ensues that becomes both a battle for survival and a catalyst for dramatic change.  Probably way more of a comedy than a true scary movie, but it definitely works for some serious Valentine’s Day fun.  You still get to see some pretty gnarly looking zombies, too--absolutely awesome fun. 

Ghosts. Want to be truly terrified?  (Which also might work well if you are trying to get your Valentine to jump right into your arms, holding on for dear life!) Try white-knuckling it through “Mama”.  Two missing little kids have been left alone in a cabin out in nowheresville for 5 years, somehow fending for themselves.  Or have they?  Have they really been alone this whole time or have they actually been taken care of by the spirit of a former mental patient with misguidedly loving yet motherly instincts?  This film is haunting, thrilling, and downright scary. 

Maybe seeing a scary movie isn’t exactly a traditional Valentine’s Day activity.  These films are however, a fun and thrilling way to get your heart racing and will almost certainly force you to do some serious cuddling with your sweetie.  Besides, if zombies and witches can find true love, it should definitely be that much easier for you. Happy Valentine’s Day!


Unique Valentine’s Day Ideas

  • February 06, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s possible that like many of us you have found yourself in a bit of a funk.  Many of us are more spontaneous people when it comes to expressing our love, so having a pre-set, very specific day and time period where so much is expected in the romance area can be a little tricky.  We want it to be special.  We want it to be meaningful.  But maybe giving more boring heart-shaped candy and flowers doesn’t seem to express exactly what we want to say. Sometimes store bought Valentine’s don’t say it right or aren’t enough, either.  Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean another stuffed bear or a box of chocolates.  Here is our huge list of great Valentine’s Day ideas that will be sure to help this Valentine’s Day be the most memorable one ever!
  1. Surprise! It doesn’t really matter what the surprise is, but doing something that is completely out of the ordinary and truly unexpected will make your partner feel extra special and loved.
  2. Romantic Dinner.  This is an old stand by, but give this Valentine’s Day dinner a special twist by having it at home. Go all out with soft music, candles, and your nice dishes. Use some of your most favorite recipes.
  3. Go Kart Racing.  Not your typical Valentine’s date at all, but the adrenaline rush of go-karting is a super thrilling and fun date that will really get your heart racing!
  4. Dance the Night Away.  There is something extremely sensual about dancing together.  The music…the touching…it’s fun and so sexy!  Try taking a dance class together for another unique spin on this idea.
  5. Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot.  Take fun Valentine’s Day pictures together with your digital camera.  Print your favorite pics for framing and for the memories.
  6. Hit the Shooting Range.  Ready…aim…fire!  He won’t be expecting this date, but he is going to love it.  Compare your paper targets and declare a winner!
  7. Beer or Wine Tasting.  If there’s beer involved, he’s there.   Wine tasting is another fantastic option.
  8. Concert tix.  Get your guy tickets to see his favorite classic rock band and get ready to rock your Valentine’s Day!
  9. Sweat it out.  Take a boxing class together or another workout class that you both would enjoy.  Getting some exercise together and breaking a sweat can get the adrenaline pumping and be very invigorating as well as fun.
  10. Movie Night.  Rent a romantic movie; pop some popcorn and then cuddle up with your Valentine for a sweet and snuggly movie night.
  11. Create Something.  Make something together.  Food is an easy choice, but you can also make homemade Valentines or even a fun craft project for your house.
  12. Love Coupons. Create a set of love-themed IOU’s for all sorts of things that your special someone is going to love.  The best part about coupons is that they can be personalized according to what the two of you like best.
  13. Notes.  Sexy notes in the lunchbox.  An “I love you” taped to the bathroom mirror.  Another note in the car or on his desk.  Remind him of how wonderful he is and how much he means to you!
  14. Sexy Picnic.  Pack a romantic picnic dinner and take it with you somewhere that is meaningful to the two of you.  Enjoy!
  15. Love Letter.  A handwritten love letter is almost a lost art in our digital age.  Find some lovely stationary and pen your sweetie a sincere love letter expressing your innermost feelings.
  16. Poem.  Write a special poem (even if it’s silly) for your special someone.  Need some help?  Try the poem maker found on this page: http://www.whimsies-online.com/valentine.htm
  17. Romantic Memory Book.  Find some of your favorite photos and take them to your local photo counter and have them put into a bound photo book.  This will become a cherished source of memories for you both!
  18. Valentine’s Dessert.  Find a decadent recipe and bake something delicious for your honey.  Feed it to him if you feel so inclined!
  19. Game Night.  Especially fun for families, get out a couple of your favorite games and compete for hilarious fun!
  20. Give Back.  Nothing makes you feel better than doing an act of charity.  Donate time at a food bank or head to a nursing home to visit an older person who might be alone on Valentine’s Day.
  21. Calendar.  It’s still early enough in the year to create a calendar for your loved one using some of your favorite photos of the two of you together.
  22. Stargazing.  Take the picnic dinner (from item #14) and go stargazing.  Lie down on a blanket and just stare up at the sky while enjoying the peace and quiet as well as the romantic time alone together.
  23. Head to the Ocean.  If you are fortunate enough to live near the coast, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to take a hand held walk along the beach.
  24. Scavenger Hunt.  Guys love a good quest.  Put together some clever clues and send your guy out on a mission to figure out where his Valentine’s present is--it’s even better if the surprise is you!
  25. Live Big.  Having an amazing as well as exhilarating experience together is a unique idea for Valentine’s Day.  A Hot Air balloon ride, sky diving, rock-climbing- see what’s available in your area and have a fantastic couple’s adventure!

YAY February!

  • February 04, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell

There’s something about the arrival of February that’s like a breath of fresh air.  To me, January seems so long and never-ending.  February on the other hand, is a shorter month filled to the brim with all sorts of good things.  The even better news is, that when February ends (and it will rather quickly), it always feels like spring is just around the corner.  So without further a-do, <drum roll, please> Happy February!  To celebrate, here’s a great list of fabulous things February brings!

Holiday’s in Abundance!  Okay, maybe these aren’t huge holidays like Christmas or (our personal favorite) Halloween, but in my book, a holiday is a holiday and February is packed with some really good ones.  Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and Mardi Gras are some of the more readily recognized holidays or celebrations we can get excited about during February.  But listen, folks…there are LOTS more.  Check out this list of things to look forward to this month.  And you thought it was just more winter!

Celebrate All Month Long!  You just won’t believe all the month-long celebrations happening in such a short and sweet month.  February honors and marks the following:  Black History Month, American Heart Month, and American History Month.  A few of the less known month-long celebrations include: Responsible Pet Owner Month, Embroidery Month and Bird Feeding Month.  (Nothing spells party like a full bird feeder, right?)

Special Holidays and Celebrations in February--Mark your calendar now!

February 2-Groundhog Day.  Want to know more?  Check out January the 28th’s posting.
February 3-Elmo’s Birthday!  For lots of “Elmo” themed fun, stop by and visit him here: http://www.sesamestreet.org/muppets/elmo
February 3-Super Bowl XLVII--With a game this big you just have to get into it; even if you are just there for the food and to watch the fantastic commercials! 
February 4-Create a Vacuum Day.  (This holiday could truly suck but after your Super Bowl Party it might be just what you need!)
February 5-World Nutella Day!  If you haven’t tried a Nutella and banana sandwich yet, today should be the day!
February 6-Lame Duck Day-A holiday dedicated to those in a position whose time has pretty much run out.  (Probably not everything it’s quacked up to be.)
February 7-Send a Card to a Friend Day-Getting things warmed up for Valentine’s day, methinks…
February 8-Boy Scout’s Day-(founded in 1910)
February 9-Hershey’s Chocolate was founded in 1894.  Women everywhere can rejoice!!! 
February 10-Chinese New Year!  2013 marks the beginning of the year of the Dragon.
February 11-White T-shirt Day-White t-shirt day honors the men and women who honored the sit down strike at General Motors back in 1937.  This is “white” t-shirt day, not wet t-shirt day--which is not to say that you can’t get your white t-shirt wet, but we wanted to make sure that was perfectly clear.
February 12-Abraham Lincoln’s actual birthday-(President’s Day will be celebrated on February the 18th) Also celebrated this day is MARDI GRAS!  Time to eat drink and be merry because tomorrow is…
February 13-Ash Wednesday-the first day of Lent.
February 14-Valentine’s Day!  Be sure to check out our special Valentine’s Day video for a costume look that works better than any Cupid’s arrow ever could!
February 15-National Gumdrop Day-A favorite chewy candy for over 200 years and apparently another fabulous excuse for a party!
February 16-Do a Grouch a Favor Day-Making the world a better place, one grouchy person at a time!
February 17-Random Acts of Kindness Day-Carrying over from yesterday’s theme; today is the day to surprise virtually anyone with a gesture of unexpected altruism and unabashed thoughtfulness.
February 18-President’s Day!  (What will you do with your long weekend?)
February 21-Love Your Pet Day-Time to give Fido a little extra attention and also remind him about what’s coming up on February the 23rd!
February 22-George Washington’s actual birthday
February 23-International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day-(What part of “woof” didn’t you understand?)
February 25-Quiet Day-A Lenten day of reflection.  (I really like the sound of this.)
February 26-Carnival Day-Carnival Day celebrates the great American carnival.
February 27-No Brainer Day-If it requires too much thought or planning, this is not the day to celebrate it.  No Brainer day revels in all things easy, that come naturally, with little or no effort at all.  Really folks, what could be better?
February 28-Public Sleeping Day-Celebrates sleeping in public.  If you ever wanted to try sleeping in a public place, this is the day to do it!
February 29-Leap Day-It happens only every 4th year and 2013 is not one of them!

February looks to be a very interesting month with an eclectic mix of wacky and wonderful days to celebrate.  Make each and every one of them count!