10 Things to do on Black Friday that doesn’t include shopping

Giving presents to say you’re thankful for those around you that you love and care for can be fun and exciting, unless you’re planning on clambering through aisles with thousands of other shoppers who decided 4am was the perfect time to buy Mom that new Kindle and little Joey the newest Xbox game. While I’ve braved the unforgiving alarm clock and cold on Black Friday on two occasions; once when I was I was too young to go without supervision and the other when I purchased a home and the Dyson pet vacuum was dirt cheap (see what I did there?). But it’s certainly not what I look forward to most.  I mostly look forward to the post-Thanksgiving fuzzy jammies and sweatshirt, fireplace roaring, movie-marathon watching, left-over eating euphoria that can only exist the day after the most delicious holiday.

Are you wondering what to do with your post-Thanksgiving time-off too? Look no further. Here are a few ideas to get you excited about Black Friday without the crowds to bother you.

  1. Have a TV Marathon – Have Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime? Scroll through the options and watch the whole season of Sleepy Hollow, Gotham or How to Train Your Dragon 2.
  2. Go to the Spa – You’ve been dreaming of a massage to get that knot out of your back and while you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to get a pedicure even though your tootsies have been confined to 3inch thick winter socks and hefty boots.
  3. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter – who doesn’t love to cuddle with a fluffy kitty or play with an adorable tail-wagging doggy? Check out the local shelters in your area to volunteer or even offer to drop off some litter, toys or sheets.
  4. Pinterest Party – Get crafty and (finally) go through your “One-day DIY” board and try your hand at lip scrub, knitting a scarf, making a holiday wreath or create a stellar art piece with your left over wine corks.
  5. Take the kids to a museum – think Science museum, Art, Music, or even if your area has a Kids Museum. You’ll forgo most of the crowds and the munchkins can waste some energy as you stand back and snap some candid photos.
  6. Bake cookies – If you start early and freeze them you’ll have plenty for your guests and friends who stop by over the next few months – just take out when ready to thaw and voila, cookies for everyone!
  7. Read abook – You know which one. The one you’ve been telling yourself, “when I have time I’ll sit down and read it”. Well, now’s your chance. With an empty day ahead make yourself some tea, grab your blanket and curl up with your favorite book.
  8. Clean out your closets – While not the most exciting of these ideas but certainly a rewarding one when you are able to take your gently worn items and donate them to those in need.
  9. Write out your holiday cards – When else will you have this uninhibited time to look through your contact list and address each envelope?
  10. Put up your holiday decorations – After you’ve scarfed down your left-over lunch, the boxes are down from the attic, and the holiday music fills the air you can’t help but get in the mood. The outdoor lights? Eh, maybe tomorrow ha-ha.

What do you plan on doing the day after Thanksgiving? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Black Friday – the BEST days to shop

It’s no mistake that during the holidays and the few months leading up to them, they seem to make a dent in our otherwise full wallets.  It’s hard to think that the average family budget for Christmas in 2013 was over $800 and growing exponentially every year. While some of us put away in a “Holiday Fund,” taking a little out of each paycheck and receiving a check at the beginning of November, others of us accumulate store or merchandise gift cards and use them to purchase gifts for those we love. And then there are those deal hunters who research prices, scope out the best deals and then rise at 3am on Black Friday to grab the hottest item of the year at the guaranteed lowest price. (And then there are those of us who stay warm and snuggled in their beds ha-ha). But here’s the downfall to Black Friday…those who shopped on Black Friday were more likely to find items out of stock! So while you may be tempted to brave the crowds (and sometimes horribly long lines) you may have better luck and snag better deals on other days.

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Shop on the days above and avoid this…

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Thanksgiving Candle Lighting

Candles are great for your Thanksgiving décor because not only do they give your table setting a more sophisticated look, they add warmth and lighting to your room. Candle lighting makes a great addition to go along side all of your light fixtures. Deciding what type of candle to use in your room can be a challenge because of the wide variety of options: you have votives, pillars, taper/dinner, tealights, and container/jar candles.

types of candles

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Our recommendations are that taper/dinner candles be used for a more formal and elegant Thanksgiving dinner. While votives and jar candles should be used for a more relaxed Thanksgiving setting. Tealights and pillar candles make the Thanksgiving setting more festive especially when tealights are used in themed holders like below.

tealight holders

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What types of candles and lighting do you use for your Thanksgiving décor?

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Helpful Decorating Tips

No holiday would be complete without decorations. Something like table decorations can be costly and sometimes are difficult to match across the whole table setting, but the famous Martha Stewart has lots of great table decorations that you can make yourself. Here are Martha Stewart’s 39 festive Thanksgiving table settings that are DIY. Though, if you are tight on time for making decorations this still gives you great ideas for table settings. These are my favorite:

Top DIY Decorations

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Thanksgiving Hosting Tips

Hosting and planning any kind of get together is stressful and can make people lose their mind. To help you host a great Thanksgiving and keep your stress level down we found these great tips on Real Simple.

Thanksgiving Feast

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Some of the main tips may sound simple but they do require organization. Here are some tips we believe are most beneficial:

1. if people ask to bring something, suggest ice, you can never have too much

2. prep as much as you can ahead of time

Not only are these great tips and tricks to host an incredible Thanksgiving, they also include some festive drink recommendations.

Do you have some other tips on how to keep your Thanksgiving stress free?

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Who is that TCP Company?

Even though TCP has been involved in energy efficient lighting since 1993, many people still don’t know who we are or what we do.  With that in mind, we recently produced a short video that features our CEO, Ellis Yan, that gives viewers a peak into who TCP is.

Take a look:

At TCP we believe that light can change everything. We realize that you need bright, crisp light for when you are putting on your makeup and a soft, warm light when you are ready to curl up and read a book.  Our wide variety of LED lamps provides you with the perfect energy efficient lighting option at a sensible cost, to meet your very specific needs.

You might not know everything that TCP does, but hopefully you realize that We Know Light.

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Give Thanks, Get Connected

Thanksgiving is all about letting loved ones and people around you know that you are thankful for them and the things they do. To help celebrate Thanksgiving and get you in the giving spirit, everyday this week we are picking a winner on our Facebook page and giving them two Connected two bulb starter kits. You can keep one for yourself and give the other to someone to show them your appreciation. Or, if you are really in the giving mood give them both away to people you are thankful for.

TCP-Thanksgiving-Facebook-Contest-1

Check back every day for another chance to get yourself and someone you are thankful for entered to win a Connected starter kit!

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What’s New with TCP

PrintWant to know what’s new with TCP? Here’s a quick award, company and event round up.

 Awards and Recognition:

 - TCP’s LED High Bay was selected as a product of the year finalist with Plant and Engineering Magazine. Cast your vote in the product of the year competition here.

- Connected by TCP was recently featured in Retail Me Not’s “17 Gifts for Men” Holiday Gift Guide. Check out the full article here.

- Another great review on Connected by TCP from iPhone Life Magazine! Here’s a great quote from reviewer Jim Karpen:

 ”I’ve now configured the LED bulbs from Connected by TCP so that my porch light and a living room light both go on about 15 minutes before the time I typically arrive home. I can’t tell you what a difference that simple thing makes — how much friendlier it makes my home feel.”

 Read the rest of his article here.

- Connected by TCP was also featured on Good Housekeeping’s website in their recent article on smart lighting. Read the article here.

Event Round Up:

Learn about our latest LED products in person at these upcoming events:

2015 DA/PRO Group Executive Planning Conference - November 18th – 20th, JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa – Palm Desert, CA

NAED Western Region Conference - January 19th – 21st, Hilton San Diego Bayfront – San Diego, CA

- Global Hospitality Expo 2015 - January 26th – 30th, American Register Company – Sheraton Hotel – Chicago, ILc

45th NEMRA Annual Conference, January 28th – 31st, Hilton San Diego Bayfront – San Diego, CA

Company News:

With the holidays right around the corner, we want to keep you posted on our schedule during this time.

Thursday, November 27th – Friday November 28th – Closed

Tuesday December 23rd – Last day of production for Make to Order items (MTO Resumes on January 5th)

Wednesday December 24th – Friday December 26th – Closed

Wednesday December 31st – Thursday January 1st – Closed

Friday January 2nd – Physical Inventory (order entry, but no shipping)

Monday January 5th – normal business resumes

For more information on TCP and LED products, follow TCP Lighting on Facebook and Twitter.

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It’s a New Season with Great Scents

Candle scents can be great to have a nice aroma in the air when family and friends come over. Whether you just want your home to smell nice, want it to smell like you have been baking all day, or just want to cover up the stink, candles can do it all. Since it is the fall season of course pumpkin is one of the top scents and to help you narrow down your decision to choose the best, The Huffington Post tested 16 Pumpkin Spice scented candles and rated them.

Pumpkin waffle candle

Here are some other fall scents that Vidette Online says are their top 5. When choosing what scent would be best for your home try not to pick a scent that is real strong, you do not want your guests to be overpowered by your home’s smell. Try to pick a scent that most people would like for example, an apple or pumpkin pie scent that does not have too much of a cinnamon blend.

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Thanksgiving Desserts

Are you looking to make a traditional dessert this Thanksgiving one that everyone will be talking about? Check out these great recipes from the Food Network and Betty Crocker.

Thanksgiving Desserts

I know that no one gets tired or pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, apple pie, and cheese cake but why not add another dessert at Thanksgiving? You never know, it may become a new family Thanksgiving tradition.

Mmmmm is anyone else’s mouth watering?

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