With home entertainment equipment becoming more and more advanced and the cost of going out for entertainment making it less realistic for many people, creating the perfect home theater is on the list of many homeowners.  Whether your budget is big or small, you can improve your home theater experience with a few simple tips and tricks.

Proper Placement Of Speakers And Screens

Your home theater speakers are designed to be placed in specific locations in relation to where you will be sitting in order to provide optimal sound.  The same goes for your television.  Each particular screen size has a proper viewing distance that will give the best picture quality.  Be sure to read the directions for your television and speakers.

Surround sound systems have multiple speakers that should send sound to the ears from many directions at once, creating the sense of being inside the show or movie.  Follow the manufacturer’s directions, and mount or place your speakers in relation to where you will be sitting.

Wall-Mounting Your Television

Flat panel televisions are designed to be mounted easily on a wall, giving you more leeway in where you will place your screen.  Having your television professionally mounted is the best way to go if you want the wires from the components to be hidden—they will run them inside the walls.  This gives a much cleaner look.

A television mount that both telescopes and tilts will allow you to adjust the position of the viewing screen to your location.  This is great if you want to watch the screen while working in the kitchen or view it from a different area than normal seating.

Don’t Go Too Big

Buy the screen size and speaker system that is right for the size of your room.  A giant television will look too large in a small room, and you won’t be able to sit far enough back to get the right viewing distance.  Overpowering speakers will be too loud in a small room.  The opposite is true as well—a large room calls for a larger screen and more powerful speakers.

The right components and set-up will provide you with the best home theater experience possible, regardless of how much money you have available to put into it.

Searching for hidden treasures and tasty sweets is the biggest part of Easter for young children.  Only Christmas morning comes with more anticipation that the morning of Easter; knowing that there will be a fun treasure hunt ending with a basket full of goodies will get any child excited.  Setting up a great Easter egg hunt is easy, whether you want to hold it indoors or out.

An Indoor Hunt

If you live in a place where cold temperatures and snowy ground make an outdoor hunt impossible, hide your Easter eggs around the house.  Be careful if you have pets—chocolate is unhealthy for dogs and cats.  Hide sweet treats out of your pets’ reach or keep your pets out of the room where the treats are hidden.

Be creative with your hiding places—put Easter treats in surprise places such as the pocket of your child’s robe.  Sneak into their room and place surprises on their pillow so they wake up and start the fun right away!  Wrapped treats can be hidden in planters or inside shoes and slippers.  The thrill of the hunt is the important part—don’t make it too easy!

Outdoor Eggs

If you live in a place where the weather allows for an outdoor Easter egg hunt, you have plenty of choices as to where you can hide your eggs.  Bear in mind, though, that local animals may run off with your treats if you hide them too far ahead of time.  Plastic eggs in bright colors that snap together to protect treats are a great way to keep them safe and hidden in your yard.

For extra fun, plan a multi-family Easter egg hunt in a local park.  You will have more space in which to create an exciting hunt!  Set up a picnic lunch to enjoy together after all of the eggs have been found.

Chocolate and treats aren’t the only fun Easter egg hunt ideas.  Try hiding small toys inside the plastic eggs, like stickers and temporary tattoos.  Kids will love discovering a new surprise in each egg.  Plan your hunt at mid-morning if you are going outside, giving the day some time to warm up a bit.  This will also place you right about lunch time when the hunt is over—and everyone will be ready for a delicious Easter meal.

Every year, children enjoy festivities that include the coloring of Easter eggs, annual egg hunts and other activities that have emerged through the years as a growing holiday tradition.

Decorate An Easter Tree

Many families enjoy various traditions of Easter, one of which includes decorating an Easter tree.  Just as you might decorate a Christmas tree, an Easter tree is adorned with colorful ornaments.  The most common decoration is plastic Easter eggs, which are readily available at any retailer and in a variety of bright colors.  By threading a piece of yarn through the top of a plastic egg, you can easily form a loop to hang on a tree branch.

Coloring Eggs

Coloring Easter eggs is a tradition, and it’s also a favorite past time of many children.  Coloring Easter eggs with family and friends and the smell of vinegar that’s added to the egg coloring will forever remind you of the holiday and the pride that you feel when the eggs are completed.  These are just a few of the fond memories that will stay with your child throughout their life and as they pass the tradition on to their own children in the future.

Little ones love color, which is partly why they love to color Easter eggs.  A variety of hues, which can even be mixed together to create custom colors are available in retail kits everywhere.  In some cases, Easter egg coloring kits even include a special crayon that children can use to write their names or even a special message on the egg, which will be visible after the egg is colored.

The Easter Egg Hunt

Children love to hunt for Easter eggs and, come rain or shine, it’s important to be ready to accommodate this tradition.  If it’s raining outside, make plans to have an Easter egg hunt inside your home.  You can use real colored eggs or even plastic eggs if you choose.  A fun way to make the hunt exciting is to hide little novelties or rewards in each of the plastic eggs, which may include small toys (pay close attention to age recommendations), candy or even a dollar bill.

The Easter Basket

Many parents enjoy surprising their children with Easter baskets.  You can either custom make these yourself with a basket, Easter-themed filling and toys or candy of your choosing, or you can purchase a pre-made basket.  Either way, it’s fun to surprise your child with his/her very own surprise on Easter morning.  Plastic Easter eggs are ideal for hiding small presents inside, which makes them perfect accents for a basket.  Another fun way to use Easter eggs, either plastic or real, is to place them in a line that acts as a trail to the Easter basket.  Create a trail leading from your child’s room directly to the gift and when they awake in the morning, they can climb out of bed and enjoy the excitement of following a trail that leads to their very own Easter basket filled with gifts.

Easter is often left out when thinking of holiday decorating, but since it is also the beginning of the spring season it is a great time to freshen up your home and add some of the lively and vibrant colors of the season.  Here are a few easy and inexpensive decorating ideas to get your home ready for the Easter holiday as well as liven up your home for spring!

Set The Table

A centerpiece for the dining room table is always an easy way to inject holiday or seasonal spirit into any home.  For an Easter inspired table remember to balance color and design.  Colors like pastel blues and yellows are always a great choice, but if these colors clash with your dining room’s existing décor, any combination of pastel colors would work.  Using natural décor items is also a good idea for any spring table, and you should consider arrangements of items that symbolize new life.

Holiday Wreaths Are Not Just For Christmas

Adding a spring inspired wreath to your front door or a wall in your home is a creative and inexpensive way to decorate for Easter.  Again, using pastel colors and natural items such as flowers, birds’ nests, and eggs can give the wreath a nice touch.  Adding some pastel ribbon, perhaps with white dots or stripes, will give it a finished look.

Add Flowers

An Easter table and home would not be complete without flowers.  Tulips and daffodils are spring favorites and come in a variety of complementary colors to add to a spring décor theme. You can also use lilies, another popular Easter flower, to add a bit more meaning to your arrangement.

Creative Uses For Easter Eggs

Eggs are a staple décor item for the Easter season, but rather than the chocolate variety consider using decorated eggs of different sizes to accent your table or decorations.  Just be sure to purchase the eggs, never taking eggs found in nature.

These are just a few of the many ways you can bring the Easter and spring vibes into your home, but whatever ideas you use, decorating for the season is a great way to truly get into the spirit.

If you are throwing a St. Paddy’s Day celebration this year, here are a few great ideas for a menu that your guests will love, and that will make the event a little more family friendly!

Traditional Fare With A Twist

There are a few ways you can create appetizing nibbles for your guests while still keeping the Irish theme.  Try adding some Guinness to a cheddar fondue, or a few twists with the infamous Irish potato such as serving roasted potato wedges or potato skins.  You can also use the color green as a food-related theme in your menu by serving such things as a spinach dip or guacamole.  Certainly not traditional Irish fare, but they will definitely be a hit at any St. Patrick’s Day Party!

Going The More Traditional Route

If you want to delight your guests with a more traditional menu, then your best bet is going with a sit-down dinner.  Corned beef and cabbage is definitely about as traditional as it gets, but you can also choose a more popular vegetable for the finicky eaters, such as broccoli.  Potatoes should definitely make an appearance on the plate of a traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast, and mashed goes well with the corned beef.  If you are really feeling ambitious then try making some Irish soda bread to accompany the meal.  For dessert, a cake decorated with a shamrock will finish off the meal nicely.

Don’t Forget The Drinks!

Let’s face it, St. Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a few drinks, but for those you don’t like a thick stout or green beer and are looking for a more family friendly option, there are alternatives.  If you prefer cocktails, then any drink with a little crème de menthe added for the green color can add a festive touch.  Whiskey is also a very popular Irish drink and can be served straight or mixed.  For the non-alcoholic crowd or the kids any drink with a green color, such as limeade, will keep the theme going.

St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to have a party with friends and family, and these tips can help you create an event to suit any taste!

Easter marks the beginning of spring in most places, but unfortunately the weather doesn’t always cooperate.  If rain is in the forecast for Easter, there’s no reason to cancel the egg hunt.  You can do an indoor egg hunt for your kids that is just as much fun as an outdoor one—perhaps even more!

Plenty Of Hiding Places

The benefit of an indoor egg hunt is that it offers a large number of hiding places for eggs.  You can spread the egg hunt through various rooms and use the furniture, window sills, and cabinets as hiding places.  This could mean the egg hunt takes a lot longer than simply finding eggs spread out in the grass.

Make sure you choose hiding places that are within your shortest child’s reach.  The last thing you want is a child trying to climb to reach an egg and having a dangerous fall.  Also be sure that the locations are safe and secure, and there is nothing that a child could be hurt on or break.

Caution With Pets And Babies

Chocolate is not good for dogs, but unfortunately our canine companions still think it’s a tasty treat.  Make sure that you hide any treats of that nature, or any other candy, out of reach of the family pet. Consider hiding your candy in plastic eggs that a dog isn’t likely to get into.

Be sure to supervise a baby carefully around your egg hunt, as peeling an egg can create a choking hazard for a young child.

Make It Part Of The Morning

An indoor egg hunt can be set up in the evening after the kids are in bed, creating a fun Easter morning surprise.  Since you don’t have to worry about leaving candy out in the yard overnight, you can use the night before to prepare the hiding places.

Of course, if you do leave it out overnight, use extra caution with pets who may have access to the candy during the night.  You might want to consider leaving treats up high and placing other types of fun down low.

An indoor egg hunt can be a lot of fun for all ages.  Simply pay attention to the potential risks, and enjoy a fun Easter no matter what the weather looks like outside.