Toast the Margarita: It’s National Margarita Day!

Posted on February 22, 2013 by Nicole Nuss

margarita, margarita machine, margarita glasses, margarita mix, national margarita day

Question: What’s the most common tequila-based drink made in the U.S. today?

Well based on the fact the title of this post includes the word “margarita” — twice — you know where I’m going with this.

The answer is the much beloved margarita. In fact, the drink is so popular, and so heavily consumed, it’s earned its very own national holiday.

That’s right, folks. It’s time to bust out the blender and lime juice. Today is National Margarita Day!

It’s no surprise numerous people over the course of the last 80 years have tried to claim themselves the mixing mastermind behind the margarita. But no one has been able to uncover the identity of the true creator, leaving it as one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Historians aren’t even sure what decade the tequila/triple sec/lime juice concoction originated in. Best guess: it was sometime between the mid-1930s and late-1940s.

Frozen margaritas, whether of the strawberry, mango — or my personal favorite, raspberry — variety, weren’t introduced until the 1970s. It was then when a genius bartender converted a soft-serve ice cream machine into a frozen margarita machine. And to the utter delightment of millions, the frozen margarita was born.

It’s only right the utmost love and respect be shown to the almighty margarita on this her national day of recognition. Whether you go the classic margarita-on-the-rocks route or mix her up into a frozen frenzy, or whether you add the tequila and triple sec or go the family-friendly, non-alcohol direction, everyone can commemorate National Margarita Day.

Here are top margarita must-haves to help you celebrate the scrumptious drink today and every day: Continue Reading »


A Valentine’s Day Love Affair: Fun Facts Infographic

Posted on February 11, 2013 by Nicole Nuss

Curious what the most “wanted” diamond ring cut is right now? Or maybe the most buzzed about flower type? Perhaps how much chocolate is consumed every year in the name of love? Find these answers and more fantastically fun facts about February’s day of love in our Valentine’s Day infographic.

Valentine's Day, infographic, Valentine's Day flowers, diamond rings, Valentine's Day chocolates


Three Cheers for Chocolate Covered ANYTHING Day!

Posted on December 13, 2012 by Nicole Nuss

chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate covered berries, chocolate covered pretzels

Chocoholics, get excited. I mean really, really excited.

Although no U.S. president has officially (as of yet) proclaimed December 16th a national holiday, many food outlets continue to refer to this blessed day as “National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.” Yes, that’s right, this Sunday is a day when it’s not only okay to dip your breakfast waffles in a vat of chocolate — it’s actually encouraged.

No one can seem to find the origin of the holiday, but many speculate it was born from some sweet marketing strategy by a confectioner or candy company. But I couldn’t care less how this day came about. I’m just thrilled it’s here.

Now in honor of National Chocolate Covered Anything Day, I give you a list of the 5 most awesomely doused in chocolate foods ever created … according to me.

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
There’s no need for me to justify why this is the first item on the list. Chocolate covered espresso beans take the two greatest edibles known to humans, and transforms them into one superfood mash-up. It’s chocolate. It’s coffee. It’s enough said.

Chocolate Covered Berries
My two favorite fruits are blueberries and raspberries, so there’s a chance I’m biased when I add chocolate covered blueberries and chocolate covered raspberries to this list. Even if you’re not a big time berry fan, you can’t deny there’s something scrumptious and addictive about combining chocolatey sweetness with tarty fruits.
chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate covered berries, chocolate covered pretzels
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Most people would agree that chocolate covered pretzels are one of the greatest food creations ever developed. And I’m not talking chocolate-based foods here, I mean overall, in the grand scheme of anything edible. I think it’s the salty + sweet + crunchy recipe that makes one crave this delicious snack. It’s also this deadly recipe that, unfortunately, renders one completely incapable of eating just one … or a handful … or a bagful.

Chocolate Covered Nutter Butters
So this is one of those little bits of deliciousness you have to prepare. For whatever reason, the good people at Nabisco have yet to create, package, and sell chocolate covered Nutter Butters, so you have to invest a few minutes to whip ‘em up yourself. But you don’t need me to tell you how amazing anything with chocolate AND peanut butter is, so I doubt it’s going to take much to sell you on this one. Just melt your favorite chocolate on the stove, grab yourself a Nutter Butter, and go to dunk town.

Chocolate Covered Peanuts/Cashews
chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate covered berries, chocolate covered pretzels
Growing up, Goobers were the one and only treat I ever wanted to eat while at the movies. And I still love chocolate covered peanuts to this day. Some people prefer chocolate covered cashews, and I totally respect that, so I’ve included both on the list. Again, you can’t go wrong with the salty/sweet/crunchy combo. It’s an undeniable winner.

So now that I’ve given you plenty of options on how to celebrate National Chocolate Covered Anything Day, go get your sweet tooth on.

-nicole-
NextagNews Blogger


Cyber Monday Continues to Grow

Posted on November 26, 2012 by Nicole Nuss

cyber monday, online shopping, christmas shopping

If just the thought of going out amidst the Black Friday frenzy causes you to cry in your pumpkin pie, then you’re probably a fan of November 28, 2005, the day “Cyber Monday” was conceived. Thanks to that fateful day in American history, a number of downright dreadful activities can forever be crossed off people’s holiday shopping lists:

1.  Waking in the wee hours of the morning

2.  Braving cold temps

3.  Waiting in seemingly never ending lines

Now for those who still prefer trekking to the store and buying in person, it seems as though you’re becoming a part of the shopping minority. ComScore Inc. shows that profits on Cyber Monday have grown each and every year since the day’s official introduction back in 2005. In fact, Cyber Monday reached record highs in 2010, topping $1 billion in sales. And last year, online sales jumped another 22%, to a whopping $1.25 billion!

Continue Reading »


Nextag’s Gift Card Giveaway

Posted on November 15, 2012 by Nicole Nuss

Want a little extra spending money this holiday season? Of course you do!

Well lucky for you, through our Nextag Holiday Sweepstakes, we’re giving away five $50 gift cards every day, starting Wednesday, November 14, 2012, and running through Monday, December 31, 2012.

And that’s not all.

We’re also giving away one grand prize gift card worth $1500!

There’s absolutely no purchase necessary with this giveaway. For a chance to win, just browse around Nextag, find a product you love, then set a Radar price alert.

Yes, it’s that easy.

To learn more, head on over to our sweepstakes page for the Official Rules.

Good luck!
-nicole-


Score the Holidays’ Hottest Laptops

Posted on November 8, 2012 by Nicholas Passalis-Bain

Looking to buy a laptop as a holiday gift? Our new Buzz Score information can show you the top trends in popular products, giving you fun and informative insights so you’ll know what to buy. Wondering what brands, sizes and colors of laptops are trending right now? Check out our infographic!


5 Ways to Celebrate Peanut Butter Lovers Month

Posted on November 8, 2012 by Nicole Nuss

peanut butter month, peanut butter, nutter butter

In my opinion, peanut butter is a food that should be celebrated daily. But, I’ll settle for a month-long peanut butter party.

Since 1995, November’s been given the gift of peanut butter, being anointed National Peanut Butter Lovers Month. It’s estimated that in the U.S. alone, 65 million tons of peanut butter will be consumed this month. Seems like a proper celebration to me!

Now to suitably arm each and every one of you with some ideas on how to get your peanut butter fix this month, here’s a list of five yummy-to-your-PB-lovin’-tummy foods jam packed with peanut butter goodness. Continue Reading »


Back-to-School: Backpacks vs. Messenger Bags

Posted on August 13, 2012 by Nicole Nuss

back to school, back-to-school shopping, backpacks, messenger bags, school supplies

Yes, believe it or not, it’s that time of year again. Sorry kids, but in a few short weeks, your days will begin with the sound of an alarm clock, and end with your nose buried in a textbook. Well, in theory anyway.

The one bright spot that always helped ease the back-to-school depression I often found myself immersed in was the need for some serious back-to-school shopping. And according to statistics, many families are gonna be doing a boatload of said shopping again this year.

The Huntington Backpack Index estimates, on average, back-to-school costs will increase 6% in 2012. Here’s a breakdown of average cost per student, by grade level:

Back to School
From Comparison Shopping website Nextag.

 

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♦  Elementary school student — $548

♦  Middle school student — $724

♦ High school student — $1,117

With kids lugging around $500+ worth of supplies, they need a solid means in which to carry it all. And that’s where the whole backpack/messenger bag debate comes into play.

Deciding between the two carriers can be a tough one. And a number of factors affect the decision: age of student, weight of carrying load, transportation means to and from school, etc. And although I’d love to decisively say which bag is right for you – or your kiddo – I can’t. That final decision weighs on the student.

But what I can do is break down the two options in an attempt to make the decision a bit easier for you. So here ya go:

TEAM BACKPACK

Best for Carrying
Most will argue backpacks are the better choice for carrying heavier loads. And medical professionals are big time advocates of backpacks with thick, padded straps, which should be worn over both shoulders. The double strap feature of a backpack allows you to distribute weight evenly, not putting an overabundance of strain on one side of the body or the other.

Comfort Card
Backpack fans will also contend a double-shoulder carrier is more comfortable than its sling counterpart. Backpacks are easier to carry long distances, and thanks to their secure makeup, when worn properly, they have the ability to stay put while you’re on the go. So for kids who walk to school, backpacks are probably the better bet.

Practicality
Let’s face it, backpacks are probably the more practical solution for a lot of kids, especially elementary and middle school students who are transporting books, notebooks, folders, lunches, gym clothes, musical instruments, etc., etc. Depending on the size, backpacks tend to be a bit roomier, so kids can pack more necessities in them. (Note: cramming a backpack full of supplies is seriously frowned upon by experts!)

Retro Effect
Although the messenger bag is likely seen as more fashion-forward, the old-school backpack could very well be described as iconic.  Right now, the retro effect of the backpack might just make it the more trendy of the two carriers.

TEAM MESSENGER BAG

Best for Accessing
Where a backpack is more handy for carrying supplies, the messenger bag makes accessing those supplies a much easier task. Due to the bag’s position against the body and its basic, easy-to-remove cover flap, grabbing a notebook, pen, or your keys can take mere seconds.

Organization
In conjunction with being able to quickly access your belongings, a messenger bag typically allows for better organization thanks to its inner layout. Unlike the main compartment of a backpack, which can act like a black hole when searching for something as simple as a writing utensil, the numerous dividers in a messenger bag are a neat freak’s dream.

Versatility
Although it can be argued a backpack is a multipurpose piece of equipment, which can be used for hiking and other outdoor activities, a messenger bag is likely even more versatile. Obviously it can be used for school, but due to its more compact size, it can double as a laptop bag, a carry-on bag when traveling, or even an everyday, errand bag.

Chic Effect
The messenger bag is likely to be viewed as more chic than its bulky, old-fashioned counterpart. This reason alone might make it the more desired option, at least for high school and college students. But its fashionable trait also means the messenger bag might be the better investment. A student is less likely to get bored with its modern style, which means they may be inclined to hang onto it for multiple years.

So what are you? Team Messenger Bag or Team Backpack?

-nicole-
Nextag Blog

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Nextag’s Swimsuit Edition (Infographic)

Posted on July 3, 2012 by Nicole Nuss

Nextag's Swimsuit Edition

This cool infographic was created by Comparison Shopping website Nextag.


Copy & Paste the code below to your favorite website or blog.

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Father’s Day is Comin’ Up!

Posted on June 12, 2012 by Nicole Nuss

Father's Day 2012, Father's Day gifts, Father's Day gift ideas, Father's Day

The one day a year it is absolutely imperative to celebrate dear ole dad is just a week away.

Of course I sincerely hope you show daddy dearest some much-deserved appreciation every day of the year. But he needs a little extra attention this coming Sunday – aka Father’s Day 2012.

Your goal is likely to find a gift tailored specially to your dad. And that’s where the whole gift-giving anxiety kicks into gear. I mean you don’t want to hand a fishing pole to your city dwelling dad who defines a vacation as venturing five blocks outside of the neighborhood.

And you don’t want to be known as the panic gift giver in the family. You know, the one who, out of pure desperation, stops at the gas station on the way to Father’s Day lunch to grab a handful of lottery tickets and a Snickers bar.

To help alleviate some of that shopper’s anxiety – and gift-giving remorse – here’s a breakdown of some popular dad “types” and fantabulous gift ideas for each of ‘em:

Outdoorsy Dad
Does your papa like to brave it in the great outdoors? Is his idea of an ideal getaway ditching all technology, pitching a tent, and spending quality time with Mother Nature? If so, then here are some gift ideas for the outdoorsy dad on your list.

Techie Dad
If the aforementioned scenario – particularly the bit about ditching all technology – would make your dad shutter in despair, not to mention be literally impossible to create due to the death grip he’s got on his smartphone, then maybe your pop falls into the techie group. Whether it’s a love affair with phones, TVs, tablets, stereo systems, home theater setups, or all of the above, here are some gift ideas for the technology-loving dadFather's Day 2012, Father's Day gifts, Father's Day gift ideas, Father's Day

Stylish Dad
Just because a dude becomes a dad doesn’t mean his sense of fashion goes out the door with the dirty diapers. Once a stylish guy … always a stylish guy. My grandfather will be 78 this year and when he gets dressed up, the man is one daper lookin’ dude. So for those fashion-forward fathers out there who like to look good no matter the situation, here are some gift ideas for the stylish dad.

New Dad
For the newbie dads out there, this June 17 is gonna be a pretty special day. In fact, it might just be the most memorable Father’s Day they’ll ever experience. So make it a good one with a gift tailored for a new daddy.

Athletic Dad
Did your pops play lots of sports in school? And does he carry on that competitive drive today? If your dad’s the athletic type and likes to stay in tip-top shape by playing some serious ball, then here are a few gift ideas for your sporty dad.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!!

-nicole-
Nextag Blog