holiday

6 cheap kitchen tools that will save your holiday cooking

My kitchen was the first room I really invested in as an adult: I bought a KitchenAid stand mixer, a dutch oven, a high-end chef’s knife and nice plates and wine glasses. But aside from the chef’s knife, a few smaller purchases have become more vital to my daily cooking and food prep routines than any of the luxury items. For just a few bucks, in some cases, these tools can change the experience of cooking, and make the elaborate prep involved in the holidays much more manageable.

Here are six tools that can seriously elevate the quality and aesthetic of the food coming out of your kitchen.

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The single best investment in my kitchen over the past four years has been a mandoline. Essentially, it’s an adjustable slicer for fruits and veggies, and it makes preparing salads a breeze. All the intricate slicing you normally have to do for good salads is so much easier with a mandoline, and prepping veggies for pickling is just as easy. Not only does this make everything you slice look uniform and beautiful, it also gives you fantastic opportunities to punch up textures in your typical dishes.

David Priest/CNET

If you cook steak with any regularity, you probably already have a cast-iron skillet. But those skillets are just as helpful for making all kinds of meat, from chicken to octopus. One of my favorite recipes I’ve been honing over the years is an octopus-lime bagna cauda — and well-seared baby octopus is one of the most important components. When it’s too cold, or I’m too lazy, to use the grill, my cast-iron skillet is perfect for searing those tiny tentacles.

David Priest/CNET

A good chef knife isn’t cheap, but it’s an investment that’ll last you years. The problem is, many of

These Cute Halloween Planters Are Wickedly Fun Additions to Your Holiday Decor

Halloween is just a few weeks away, and though your celebration won’t look the same as in previous years, you can still have a memorable holiday. Even if you’re skipping trick-or-treating this year, you can still make some yummy treats, wear a fun outfit, and enjoy a scary movie on October 31. You can also add some Halloween decor to your house, and while you’re at it, make sure you get a boo-tiful new planter for your favorite houseplant, too. These frighteningly fun options will be the perfect addition to your other decorations. There are several different styles to choose from, including a bat, a cat, and a Jack-o’-lantern. Make sure you add these to your cart and order them quickly because you’ll want to have time to show them off before Halloween.

Jack-o’-Lantern Planter

These planters will last way longer than your carved versions. The handmade cement planters measure 8 x 7 inches with a 4-inch opening. (There’s also a small drainage at the bottom.) The unpainted version costs $45 and the orange and black option sells for $49. If you’re feeling crafty and want to DIY your own concrete pumpkin planter, we’ve got a full tutorial here to turn candy buckets into planters.

Buy It: Handmade Pumpkin Cement Planter (from $45, Etsy)

Bat Planter

It doesn’t get much cuter than these ceramic bats. The planter comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large, with free personalization available. Although they’re not usually made with a drainage hole (so they’re best for air plants), the Esty seller notes that if you’d like one, just add a note at checkout.

Buy It: Flying Bat Hanging Plant Holder (from $49, Etsy)

Cat Planter

If you own a black cat, this planter, this planter is a must-buy. The ceramic planter measures 6

Fresh off a major summer comeback, Bed Bath & Beyond ebed xecs say they are doubling down on e-commerce and decor for homebound holiday shoppers

bed bath & beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond is winning with shoppers stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond Chief Brand Officer Cindy Davis spoke with Business Insider about the company’s stellar summer sales, as well as its plans for winning during the holiday season.
  • Davis said the brand’s strategy includes a $29 annual loyalty program, enhanced e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment services, and earlier-than-ever holiday offerings.
  • The Bed Bath & Beyond executive said the company plans to remain “close to the customer” to continue to glean insights on consumer trends for the holidays.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bed Bath & Beyond pulled off a major back-to-school sales coup this summer, despite many colleges across the United States going remote due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the retailer is looking to apply those lessons to its holiday strategy, according to its Chief Brand Officer Cindy Davis. Back-to-school and holiday shopping are the biggest traffic drivers for the brand. 

Davis credited the company’s positive second-quarter sales — which soared above analysts’ estimates, according to — with Bed Bath & Beyond’s ability to “pivot” to better suit customers’ needs during the pandemic. The company saw  89% digital sales growth compared to the same time period last year, although this was partially offset by a 12% decline in comparable-store sales.

“We had a plan in place for second quarter that was really different for us,” Davis said. “It was customer-inspired, data-driven, and really focused on our omnichannel services. It was a fully integrated plan and it really helped us deliver on Q2.”

The result was two million new customers flocking to Bed Bath & Beyond’s website.

Davis said that those new shoppers tended to be six years younger on average than the company’s existing customers. While

Garden Club of Aiken’s holiday greenery sale is underway | Home and Garden

Looking for some festive holiday decorations?

The Garden Club of Aiken is conducting a greenery sale for the second year in a row.

Plans call for $5,000 from the proceeds to be donated to the Friends of the Aiken County Public Library.

The money will be used to help fund new landscaping on the grounds of the library, which is undergoing a major renovation at 314 Chesterfield St. S.W.

The garden club has maintained the landscaping near the facility’s entrance for many years.

“The Friends of the Library are deeply grateful that Aiken’s oldest garden club will continue its historical connection by funding new landscaping through their Christmas greens sale,” said Friends President Bill Reynolds.

The rest of funds raised by the 2020 greenery sale will be returned to the community through the club’s various outreach programs.

Available for purchase from the club are small, medium and large wreaths, garlands, kissing balls, tabletop trees, table runners and hand-tied deep red velvet bows.

For more information about the holiday greenery sale or to place an order online, visit thegardenclubofaiken.com.

The deadline for orders is Oct. 24.

In addition, special order services are being offered for extra large wreaths, custom garlands and mailbox saddles.

To purchase those decorations, contact an Aiken Garden Club member or call Bonnie Coward at 803 215-1956 before Oct. 17.

Orders can be picked up from 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 1 at 1022 South Boundary Ave. S.E.

Claudia Lea Phelps, a member of Aiken’s Winter Colony, founded the Garden Club of Aiken in 1924.

Source Article

Bed Bath & Beyond focuses on e-commerce, decor for holiday shoppers

  • Bed Bath & Beyond Chief Brand Officer Cindy Davis spoke with Business Insider about the company’s stellar summer sales, as well as its plans for winning during the holiday season.
  • Davis said the brand’s strategy includes a $29 annual loyalty program, enhanced e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment services, and earlier-than-ever holiday offerings.
  • The Bed Bath & Beyond executive said the company plans to remain “close to the customer” to continue to glean insights on consumer trends for the holidays.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bed Bath & Beyond pulled off a major back-to-school sales coup this summer, despite many colleges across the United States going remote due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the retailer is looking to apply those lessons to its holiday strategy, according to its Chief Brand Officer Cindy Davis. Back-to-school and holiday shopping are the biggest traffic drivers for the brand. 

Davis credited the company’s positive second-quarter sales — which soared above analysts’ estimates, according to — with Bed Bath & Beyond’s ability to “pivot” to better suit customers’ needs during the pandemic. The company saw  89% digital sales growth compared to the same time period last year, although this was partially offset by a 12% decline in comparable-store sales.

“We had a plan in place for second quarter that was really different for us,” Davis said. “It was customer-inspired, data-driven, and really focused on our omnichannel services. It was a fully integrated plan and it really helped us deliver on Q2.”

The result was two million new customers flocking to Bed Bath & Beyond’s website.

Davis said that those new shoppers tended to be six years younger on average than the company’s existing customers. While Bed Bath & Beyond is known for inundating customers with 20% off coupons in the mail, this new crop of