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If you’ve been snagging ham or pepperoni for easy meals during the holiday season, you’ll want to take a look at this recall. Alexander & Hornung, the business unit of Perdue Premium Meat Company, Inc. is recalling approximately 234,391 pounds of the fully cooked meat products. They’ve been contaminated with listeria, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service.

The recall affects many different brands of ham, including lunch meat from Wellshire, spiral sliced ham from Garrett Valley Farms and Niman Ranch uncured ham. It also affects Five Star pepperoni and pepperoni sticks. You can see the full list of products and the associated dates here.

There have been no reports of associated illness but Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that mostly affects older adults, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women and newborns. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, stiff neck and convulsions and the infection spreads from the gastrointestinal tract.

Check your refrigerator or freezer if you think you might have purchased one of these products and throw it away if you find it. If you have more questions about this recall and the affected products you can visit www.alexanderhornung.com or call the Alexander & Hornung Consumer Hotline at 1-866-866-3703.

—Sarah Shebek

Featured image courtesy of Charles Deluvio, Unsplash

 

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It’s a dog’s world, we’re just living in it! Four-legged friends definitely earn a spot on our gift lists and now a truly epic present is up for grabs. Vrbo is listing five customized dog houses that are inspired by the platform’s most popular rental types—they’re so good that your pup may never come back inside!

The houses of your dog’s dreams cost $100 each and will be up for grabs on Dec. 9 at noon CT. The mid-century modern bungalow comes with a dog pool and a succulent garden. There’s a luxe cabin that is perfect for cozy naps, a beach cottage that even has a rooftop checkerboard for humans and an A-frame that’s perfect for your pup’s Instagram account. Don’t forget the Eichler-style modern ranch house!

Yes, these homes might be (much) nicer than the average doghouse, but it’s been a rough couple years and your doggo deserves it. Make sure you’re on the listing for the house you want to book on Dec. 9, since they’ll go fast! Proceeds from each will go to the Best Friends Animal Society and Vrbo also plans to make a $10,000 donation to the organization.

—Sarah Shebek

Featured image courtesy of Vrbo

 

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You can vacation in some pretty sweet homes thanks to Airbnb, but it will be hard to top this booking. Now you can stay in the real life Home Alone house and let your inner child run wild! The overnight stay is up for grabs on Dec. 12 to celebrate the release of the latest movie in the popular franchise.

The McAllisters are headed on their holiday trip and that means four guests have the opportunity to enjoy the stay of a lifetime in Chicago. The home will be perfectly decorated for Christmas and feature plenty of booby trap opportunities. You’ll get to meet the pet tarantula and enjoy plenty of pizza and Kraft Mac n Cheese. At the end of the stay, you’ll get to take home the new LEGO Home Alone set for the perfect souvenir!

Now for the best part: all of this is only $25 if you’re lucky enough to book. Set your reminder for 2 p.m. ET on Dec. 7 and make sure you’re on http://airbnb.com/homealone. The  guests who book are responsible for their own travel, but it’s a small price to pay for these bragging rights.

If you don’t get to claim this trip, Airbnb has plenty of other great options to make your next trip extra special. But if you’re really ready to channel your inner Kevin McAllister, you can also reserve a special package at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, giant sundae and limo ride included!

—Sarah Shebek

Featured image courtesy of Sarah Crowley

 

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If your family has a tradition of checking out the neighborhood lights, no need to drive around aimlessly. Nextdoor has teamed up with the Home Depot to make it easy to find the most spirited houses in your area. The Cheer Map maps the best and brightest decorations, whether you’re searching for Christmas inflatables or menorah displays.

To find the map or add your home, head to the Nextdoor app and click the “More” tab. There’s even a handy how-to guide on hanging holiday lights, if you’re on the fence. The map will help you plan the perfect sightseeing route and find some new, cool spots in your own neighborhood.

According to a recent poll on the app, the overwhelming majority (90%) of respondents plan to decorate for the holidays and 70% put up decorations in November. So if you’re ready to get out on a drive, now is the time. Don’t forget the hot chocolate!

—Sarah Shebek

Featured image courtesy of James Wheeler, Unsplash

 

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On the first day of December ALDI brought to me…tons of great finds! We have the inside scoop on what to expect at your local ALDI for the ultimate holiday month. Including a premade charcuterie board kit and gingerbread mulled wine!

Starting Dec. 1, you’ll be able to snag Three Mills Gingerbread Mulled Wine for only $5. You’ll also find some gems in the baking department: Mama Cozzi’s Pizza Kitchen Holiday Tree or Star Pizza ($2.50), Baker’s Corner Jumbo Christmas Cookie Kit ($5) and Elf on the Shelf Baking Kits ($3.50). Don’t forget the Nestle Morsels in Peppermint Hot Cocoa and Funfetti Flavors!

Later on, look for Sundae Shoppe Snowflake Cones, a raspberry and cream flavored treat with chocolate coating and sugar sprinkles ($3.50 on Dec. 8). Grab some cute Gouda Trees the same weekend that are perfect for your holiday boards ($4). And speaking of charcuterie, don’t forget the Specially Selected Charcuterie Board Kit ($10) that’s available on Dec. 15 and makes your board prep a snap.

Finally, we’re super excited about the Sparkling Wine calendar that counts down to the New Year. You’ll have seven bottles to open and it’s available for $30 on Dec. 1. Don’t forget ALDI’s version of the Grouch Tree! At $8 each, you’ll want to buy a few when they release on Dec. 8. ‘Tis the season for shopping merriment at ALDI!

—Sarah Shebek

Featured image courtesy of ALDI

 

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Raw cookie dough that’s safe to eat? Yes please! Now you can add a holiday twist, with new Pillsbury’s Candy Cane Cookie Dough that’s perfect for seasonal baking days.

You won’t have to worry about getting sick when you sneak a scoop from the bowl. Pillsbury’s dough is formulated so it’s safe to eat before it’s baked. One of the better advancements in kitchen technology, if you ask us!

The sugar cookie dough is flavored with candy canes and ready to bake straight from the package. You can roll it out to use with your favorite cookie cutters or simply shape it into classic cookies. At $2.70 for a roll of 30 ounces, your sweet tooth is in for a real treat!

Sarah Shebek

Featured image courtesy of Pillsbury

 

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Does your neighborhood celebrate the holidays in a big way? If you’re searching for an extra festive spot to spend the day or the weekend, new data is out on the top Christmas towns in the U.S.A. Georgia residents are particularly in luck!

Helen, Georgia only has 430 residents but it’s a legit Bavarian town that goes all out for Christmas. Formerly a logging town, Helen takes advantage of its picturesque location by the Blue Ridge Mountains and Chattahoochee River for the holidays. In December the town hosts a Festival of Trees, Christkindlmarkt and a Lighting of the Village! The rest of the top 10 list from mydatingadviser:

  1. Helen, Georgia
  2. Blue Ridge, Georgia
  3. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
  4. Leavenworth, Washington
  5. New Hope, Pennsylvania
  6. Pine Mountain, Georgia
  7. Ligonier, Pennsylvania
  8. Jacksonville, Oregon
  9. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  10. McAdenville, North Carolina

The site formulated the rankings by weighing Christmas activities, weather forecasts, transport, lodging and food. McAdenville, North Carolina offered the most seasonal activities and unsurprisingly Santa Rosa Beach, Florida has the best weather outlook (unless you prefer the white stuff). The most lodging options? The suburb of Valley Junction, Iowa, thanks to its proximity to the major city of Des Moines.

You can find the full list of 152 Christmas towns here, including highlights for the top spots. If you’re staying closer to home this holiday season, check out this list of cozy indoor and wintry outdoor activities that you can do just about anywhere!

—Sarah Shebek

Feature image via Visit Leavenworth

 

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Ready to give back? Giving Tuesday is today and plenty of brands are on board to donate to charitable organizations. We’ve rounded up a few to note if you’re looking to support some great causes today!

Citi: Matching donations dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000 for No Kid Hungry. Donate now to have an even greater impact in the fight against childhood hunger.

Cloud Paper: In continued partnership with One Tree Planted, Cloud Paper will be planting one tree for every purchase made on 11/30.

FabKids: Donating 100% of net proceeds from select shoes to Soles4Souls from Nov. 30-Dec. 7.

Keen: Launched KEEN Corps, the world’s largest digital hub for volunteering and community engagement opportunities, powered by Points of Light. Fans can find more than 300,000 unique opportunities with more than 70,000 nonprofit organizations, schools, and other local agencies each year.

KFC: Donating $1 for each KFC Chicken Sandwich sold (including KFC Chicken Sandwich meals) to Blessings in a Backpack to provide weekend meals to children who might otherwise go hungry.

MacKenzie-Childs: Donating 5% of the brand’s total daily sales to World Central Kitchen.

Naked Wines: Naked will donate $10 on all purchases to support a mentorship program focused on advancing the careers of Latino winemakers,  – and 100% of profits from selected packs.

Pottery Barn: Selling bell candles, superhero ornaments, a bear pillow and a cozy chenille throw to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The NAACP Cozy Throw benefits the NAACP. And the Pride Mug and Pride Doormat benefit the Trevor Project.

Senna Case: Donating 50% of the day’s proceeds to Marin Foster Care Association.

STATE Bags: For every product purchased, STATE supports American children and families in need, allocating 5% of its annual revenue to giving efforts around the country including fully-packed bag drop rallies and partnerships like HELP USA for special projects.

Stojo: For every order placed on the site, Stojo will donate a best-selling 12 oz. cup to frontline healthcare organizations, to give thanks and keep them both hydrated and caffeinated (because we could all use a little of that!).

WaterBabies: Partnering with charity: water to raise awareness of the global water crisis and to fund up to 250 water wells in developing countries. With every purchase of a WaterBabies doll, proceeds go towards bringing clean and safe drinking water to families all over the world.

—Sarah Shebek

Featured image courtesy of Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

 

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Ever noticed that the labels on cranberry sauce are actually upside down? It’s intentional but we never knew why—until today! AdWeek got the scoop from Ocean Spray, the super popular brand of canned cranberries.

Turns out, it’s to make your serving experience easy. Ocean Spray started this process in the early 2000s and put the rounded edge on top, rather than the bottom. That keeps the jelly whole by providing an air bubble on the rounded side. When you open the can, you break the vacuum and the log of delicious sauce slides right out, according to a spokesperson.

And if you only eat cranberry sauce on this week, you might be surprised that American consume 400 million pounds of cranberries each year, with 80% of that coming on weeks other than Thanksgiving. Ocean Spray also notes that 5,062,500 gallons of jellied sauce are consumed every holiday season. That’s a lot of cranberries!

— Sarah Shebek

Featured image courtesy of Ocean Spray

 

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While you’re racking up the savings over the next week, don’t forget the freebies! The team at BlackFriday.com has put together a stellar list of incentives that stores are offering around the holiday weekend. Whether you’re hoping to score a snowman cake or plush robe, read on for the details!
Ace Hardware

Get a free $10 Ace gift card as an Ace Reward member. You must buy a $50 Ace gift card between Black Friday, Nov. 26, through Nov. 28. There is a two-gift card limit, and this deal is exclusive for Ace reward members only.

Baskin-Robbins

On Black Friday starting at 1 p.m. ET, place a Baskin-Robbins order online using the code “SNOWMAN” for your chance to receive a free ice cream cake. Be sure to act fast for this deal since there are only 1,000 free Brrr The Snowman™ cakes up for grabs.

Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s
Get a free photo with Santa at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, reservation required. Learn more about how to make a reservation (and other safety precautions Bass Pro and Cabela’s are taking for Santa’s Wonderland this year).
Bed Bath & Beyond

Score a free $25 bonus gift card from Bed Bath and Beyond. Spend $125 on products online or in-store and you’ll receive a $25 gift card. This deal is valid from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27.

Belk
In-store shoppers will receive a free gift card in value ranging from $5 to $500. At every store, there will be four lucky $500 gift card winners. On Black Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., in-store shoppers at Belk will receive the gift cards.
Big Lots

Get a free Winter Wonder Lane 140ct light mini set. Big Lots rewards members will receive a free mini light set when they shop in stores on Thanksgiving. The offer will be loaded automatically to your Big Rewards account.

Checkers and Rally’s

Enjoy a free large famous seasoned fries from Checkers. Download or present the free fries coupon at your local Checkers or Rally’s restaurant. The deal is valid from Nov. 26 to Nov. 28.

CVS

Get a free Maybelline Mascara Kit or Mini Sky High Mascara from CVS. Spend $30 or more on Maybelline cosmetics with your CVS care card (Limit one item).

Fleet Farm

Your kids will love a free plush toy from Fleet Farm. Be one of the first 500 customers at a Fleet Farm store on Black Friday. The doors open at 5 a.m.

Fred Meyer

Score a $20 coupon from Fred Meyer. You’ll need to spend $100 or more on home, apparel or electronics in a single transaction on Black Friday.

Kohl’s

You’ll receive $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent, plus score extra Kohl’s Cash on certain purchases during the Kohl’s Black Friday sale. You need to spend at least $50 on select purchases or buy an item eligible for Kohl’s Cash in the Kohl’s Black Friday sale.

Lowe’s

Grab a free $10 bonus e-gift card from Lowe’s. For every $100 or more you spend on an e-gift card, you’ll receive a $10 bonus e-gift card. The deal is online only and is valid from Nov. 25 to Nov. 26. The limit is two per household.

Macy’s

Get a free cosmetic pouch, duffle bag, tote bag, weekend bag or shower gel. Macy’s shoppers who buy select large fragrances can receive a free gift with their purchase.

Meijer

Free coupons from Meijer! The coupon automatically prints at checkout when you make select purchases.

Rite Aid

Receive $15 in bonus cash at Rite Aid. Spend $50 or more on eligible products in-store or online. The offer is valid from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27 and the coupon must be presented for in-store purchases. You can find the coupon on Rite Aid’s Black Friday Ad.

Rural King

Enjoy a free popcorn and coffee from Rural King while shopping in-store.

Target

Get your free gift cards from Target! You’ll be given the gift card at checkout when you make select purchases.

Ulta

Score a free plush robe or throw from Ulta by making a $60 fragrance purchase.

Walmart

Get up to $750 in e-gift cards from Walmart when you purchase select Apple and Samsung phones.

––Sarah Shebek

Featured image courtesy of Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

 

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