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September 19, 2018
Tastes of the Season: Fall Farmers' Markets

Shopping at your local farmers' marketFall is here! The bridge between summer and fall is full of delicious possibilities: the last heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn linger, pears and sweet potatoes start to arrive, and more apples than you can name can all be found at your local farmers’ market.

July 11, 2018
Celebrating Made in USA

Grand Old Flag SocksJuly seems like the perfect time to take a look at items made in the USA. Of course, there are many factors that are considered when adding new products to our shelves, but Mast Store’s buying directive is to look in the local and regional area first, then broaden to national and international sources. Right now, our product mix is 20% Made in the USA, including foods, candy, socks and footwear, home goods, and clothing.

June 20, 2018
Spend the Night Under the Stars

Sleeping Under the StarsSo, when was the last time you spent the night under the stars? Can you remember roasting marshmallows and making s’mores? What about spinning ghost stories by the glow of the campfire? If it’s hard to remember, then we’d like for you to mark your calendars for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout. Since 2005, the fourth Saturday in June has been celebrated with tents in backyards and a public campsites. Won’t you take the pledge?

May 16, 2018
Add to Your Summer Reading List

Time to enjoy a good book. There’s nothing like enjoying a good book under a shade tree with a nice breeze blowing or on a warm sandy beach with the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline. Summer reading runs the gamut from bodice rippers and murder mysteries to non-fiction accounts of our times and classics from long ago. We asked our employees to share some of their recommendations to add to your summer reading list.

May 9, 2018
May is Sharing Our Shoes Month

Answer the S-O-S CallSpring cleaning is taking place in all Mast Store communities. Windows are being scrubbed; the carpet is getting cleaned; and the closets, well, if you haven’t worn it in a while, it’s probably time to say goodbye to it. Take a good look at your shoes. If they have some miles left in them, we can make it easy for you to put some smiles on some local faces.

April 25, 2018
Get-Ready-for-Summer Checklist

The Big Bubble ThingWe are eagerly waiting for sun and fun! While the April showers mode continues, we’re actively putting together supplies for a summer filled with outings, laughter, and fun. Here’s a list of items with safety and protection at the forefront, so you can focus more on the fun part.

March 7, 2018
Planting by the Moon and by the Signs

An almanac is a great reference for planting.Whether or not you believe that your destiny is governed by the stars, you probably know which astrological sign you were born under, right? Astrology is just an amusement to most of us these days, but to our ancestors, natural astrology was important in predicting seasonal events and weather. Well-informed planters used the position of the sun, moon and the constellations to manage their livestock and crops.

February 14, 2018
5 Ways to Escape the Winter Blues

Beating the Winter BluesBy now you’ve heard the news – the official weather prognosticating groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow, thus, we’ll have six more weeks of winter. That could be the most depressing news you’ve heard in a while, especially if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. Longer nights, cold temperatures, and gray days all figure into a general feeling of sadness and depression. But, there are steps you can take to reduce its effects. Here are five ways to escape the winter blues.

December 27, 2017
Here Comes the New Year

ANightBeforeChristmasOut with the old and in with the new – 2018 is just a few days away. Many celebrations are planned to bid farewell to 2017 and to embrace all that the New Year has to offer. The roots for some of the celebrations are as old as the hills, so to speak.

October 18, 2017
Putting Your Garden to Bed

Iris_Gift_Nature.jpgA good cleanup in the fall is well worth your while for a healthy, vital garden next spring. Get started by pulling up vegetable plants such as tomatoes, squashes, peas, and beans. Compost the disease-free ones; put sickly or blighted ones on the burn pile or discard away from the garden. Pull up and put away garden stakes and tomato cages.  Don’t forget to clean up dead or declining annuals... and remember marigolds, calendulas and zinnias are easy to grow next year, from the seeds you save.

August 2, 2017
It's Back-to-School Time and You Can Help

Classroom.jpgYou remember the good ol’ days. As the countdown to the first day of school started, you’d go to the mailbox to see who your homeroom teacher was going to be. Then, the phone lines would light up with  calls from your friends to see if you were in their classes.

July 26, 2017
Enjoying Garden Goodness

VeggiesThe time we’ve been anticipating since winter, really, is finally here. Our gardens that were eagerly planned when snow was on the ground are giving us gifts on a daily basis. Squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, … the list could go on and on. You’ve planned meals using the bounty until you’ve run out of ideas. Well, we have a few more.

July 19, 2017
Summer's #1 Treat

ice_cream_0864_web.jpgIf you had to guess what the top indulgence is for the summer months, we bet that you’d get it without extra guesses. That’s right, ice cream! In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day, which should be observed with all appropriate ceremonies and activities.

June 28, 2017
Celebrating Made in America

america-main.jpgThe rumor on the street is that nothing is made in the USA any longer. In actuality, there is still a lot of manufacturing happening within the states. It accounts for about 36% of the nation’s gross national product, according to an article in MarketWatch from 2016. Manufacturing in some quarters is on the upswing, particularly if the product is highly regulated or requires specialized training to produce.

April 19, 2017
Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

earth-main-2.jpgAs the famous philosopher, Voltaire, said, “no snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible,” yet where would the avalanche be without each snowflake?  From picking up litter in your neighborhood to making the switch to reusable shopping bags, these seemingly small habits can combine to have a powerful effect. With Earth Day coming up on Saturday, April 22nd, we’re thinking about changes we can make to reduce our impact on the environment. Earth Day is the perfect time to form a new habit. 

March 29, 2017
Spring Crafting with Kids

craft-4.jpg
Welcome the new season by enjoying some fun and simple craft projects with the children in your life.  From rainsticks and tissue paper trees to racing rainbows and string Easter eggs, these ideas are festive and easy for every member of your family.

March 15, 2017
Creating a Container Garden for Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers

Container gardening has rapidly gained in popularity over the past decade. Not only is it more convenient for smaller dwellings, but containers make it easier for you to control water, soil, sun exposure, and fertilizer. but containers make it easier for you to control water, soil, sun exposure, and fertilizer.

March 8, 2017
Growing Your First Vegetable Garden

garden-2.jpgHave you always wanted to grow your own vegetables, but didn’t know how to get started? Now is the time to start planning your garden, so you can yield a bountiful summer harvest. Below, we offer a simple list to help make your first garden a successful (and delicious) one!

January 11, 2017
Ideas for Enjoying Snow Days

snow-days-main.jpgWith another unseasonably mild holiday season behind us, folks in the southeast were very excited to wake up to 6 to 10 inches of fresh fallen snow the first full weekend of the New Year. If your family is anything like mine, we were totally unprepared for the powdery goodness. (My husband chalks it up to wearing shorts from March straight through December in 2016.) Below, you’ll find a few ideas for how to make the most of your next snow day. Our fingers are crossed that we have quite a few more in store this winter…

December 19, 2016
Gift Giving Made Easy with Fun Themes

cmas-gifts-main.jpgDo you ever find yourself stumped when selecting thoughtful gifts to give your loved ones during the holiday season? This year, we’ve compiled a list of gift themes to please a variety of folks in your life. We hope this guide will help make your gift selecting (and your recipient’s receiving) a little more creative and a lot more fun.

December 14, 2016
Simple & Delicious Holiday Appetizer Recipes

cmas-recipe-main.jpgThis past weekend, dear friends of ours invited us to a “12 Appetizers of Christmas” party. Each of the families that were invited brought an appetizer to share. Guests brought sweet and savory dishes that made for a delicious and very celebratory feast. Below, you’ll find a few simple recipes from our Mast Store family that you might want to share at your next family gathering or party with friends this holiday season.

December 7, 2016
Fun & Easy Holiday Crafts with Kids

hoilday-kid-craft-1.jpgYour child’s winter break from school will be here before you know it. This break from often an overfilled schedule provides ample opportunity to enjoy working on creative projects together. One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is making holiday decorations (that we’ll pull out and enjoy year after year) and crafting sweet homemade gifts for friends and family. Below you’ll find a few ideas that are easy for even the youngest artists. Plus, these crafts are so simple that you’ll probably have most of the materials you need already in your home!

December 1, 2016
Choose & Cut Your Own Christmas Tree This Year

tree-1.jpgThinking about the many Christmas trees I’ve enjoyed throughout the years brings up a host of sweet memories: The earliest trees of my childhood included brass clip-on candle holders. We lit the candles on the tree each evening (my parents were very brave). This tradition was passed down through the generations from our Swedish ancestors. There was the year our newly acquired stray cat took the entire tree down only a half hour after it was fully decorated…

November 21, 2016
Get a Head Start on Holiday Happenings

cmas-16-header.jpgThere’s so much to enjoy in each of our Mast Store communities this holiday season. Many of our favorite events have already begun or kick off right after Thanksgiving. Below are just a few offerings that your family may want to add to your holiday schedule. Consider trying something new this year and it just might become a holiday tradition!

October 24, 2016
Merrell Footwear Supports Food for Kids 2016 in Columbia

FFK-2016-BANNER.jpgIf you could do one thing that would improve a child’s self-esteem, help facilitate better behavior, and increase his or her learning potential, wouldn’t you do it? It’s easy. Just make sure that the child is not hungry. According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 children in the U.S. worry about when they’ll have their next meal.

October 12, 2016
Fire Prevention Week & Valle Love

fire-5.jpgDid you know that October 9th through 15th is Fire Prevention Week? This week, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) is educating the public about basic, but essential elements of smoke alarm safety. Their theme for 2016 is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” Below you’ll find valuable information about checking your smoke alarms, fire safety preparedness for your family, and information about the upcoming Valle Love event in honor of our friends affected by the Valle Landing Fire.

July 7, 2016
Grandma's Cures for Summer's Bumps & Bruises

grandma-approved-2.jpgWe all enjoy getting outside and taking advantage of the longer daylight hours in the summertime, but an abundance of outdoor activities often leads to the need to give our bodies a little extra TLC. Thankfully, grandma’s old timey cures have withstood the test of time. From soothing sunburns and softening “gardener’s hands” to helping heal cuts and repelling pesky mosquitoes, we offer a few of our favorite cures for summer bumps and bruises: grandma approved! And best yet, all of these cures are made in the USA.

January 12, 2016
National Slow Cooking Month

slow-cooker-month-1.jpgJanuary is the perfect time of year to pull out your slow cooker (or Crock-Pot), throw in a combination of ingredients, and let them simmer all day to edible perfection. We’re sharing a few of our favorite mouth-watering, hearty, and super easy one-pot recipes for one of the coldest (and coziest!) months of the year.

December 22, 2015
Enjoying Winter Break with the Family

winter-break-3.jpgChildren are counting down the days until Christmas morning, but there’s another countdown happening in homes across the country. Winter break is fast approaching and that means no homework, staying up late, and sleeping in. This extra time together in the middle of the school year provides ample opportunity to turn off the television and dig into some fun family projects and activities. Here is a list of simple ideas you may want to incorporate into your holiday time together:

December 9, 2015
How to Select the Perfect Host GIft

hostess-gifts-1.jpgIf you’re planning to attend a holiday party this Christmas season, you have the (sometimes daunting) task of selecting a gift your host is sure to enjoy. Here are a few suggestions that will help you choose a thoughtful gift. We also offer a variety of ideas we hope will bring a smile to your host’s face.

August 6, 2015
Savoring the Last Days of Summer

sunflower-baby-alaina-drawdy-cox-1.jpgYou know the summer is coming to a close when the sunflowers start to droop in the heat of the noonday sun. Checking in with a large field of cheery sunflowers near the Mast Store World Wide Headquarters, it’s clear from the sleepy blooms that summer is ever so slowly fading. Before we get back into the swing of another school year, here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the last days of summer.

April 24, 2015
It's Garden Season

GardenforWeb.jpgGardening is one of the first outdoor adventures of the season. It actually can start way back in January or February when the seed catalogs begin arriving in the mail. Flipping through the pages and dreaming of the summer and fall harvest while the wind and snow whip outside is a favorite winter activity.

December 30, 2014
Cooking for the New Year

Collard GreensHere we are about to put another year in the books. How can 365 days pass by so quickly? With the New Year just hours away, it's time to begin preparing to greet the New Year in a traditional way in order to have a full year of good luck. 

December 23, 2014
Accidental Christmas Traditions

Tree at WorkThe holidays are here with all of their pomp and circumstance, parties and decorations, traditions and food. Many of the celebrations around the holidays have their roots in ancient Christian beliefs and pagan festivals. But there are some that are, well, accidental

December 18, 2014
Good to Eat and Easy to Fix

Grit-Casserole-1000px.jpgWell, the holidays are upon us. Everyone's calendars are full of parties, get togethers, and covered dish gatherings. The schedule for family visits is lengthy and covers most of the time between Christmas Eve and Christmas Night. With so many places to go and people to see, it's often not practical to prepare a full meal for your guests. That's where a smattering of hearty appetizers and sweet treats will help tide them over to their next stop.

November 26, 2014
Bringing the Family Together for the Holidays

Family Fun NightThe holidays can be the most stressful time of the year. All of us create imagined expectations that are often unrealistic, that we push ourselves to achieve, when what we need to do is take a deep breath and relax. When family comes over, are they really coming to critique your housekeeping or to have an enjoyable meal filled with lots of laughter? While we'll agree that everyone wants to keep a perfect house, but for most of us, it's not practical, so hide the clutter in the extra bedroom (we guarantee that it'll be there later), do a quickie vacuum and dust job, and clean the bathrooms.

October 23, 2014
Safely Scrub-A-Dub-Dub with American Made SallyeAnder Soaps

sallyeander-1.jpgThe SallyeAnder Soaps story started 30 years ago when the creators’ infant son couldn’t tolerate the bath products on the market. Everything the couple tried irritated his skin, and so the Minetto, NY natives decided to make their own gentle and natural soap for their son. The results were spectacular for them, as well as many other families, and the soap rapidly gained in popularity. A few years later, the couple quit their day jobs, and started SallyeAnder Soaps, selling their American-made, all-natural soaps across the globe.

September 26, 2014
Putting Your Garden to Bed

Iris_Gift_Nature.jpgA good cleanup in the fall is well worth your while for a healthy, vital garden next spring. Get started by pulling up vegetable plants such as tomatoes, squashes, peas, and beans. Compost the disease-free ones; put sickly or blighted ones on the burn pile or discard away from the garden. Pull up and put away garden stakes and tomato cages. Don’t forget to clean up dead or declining annuals... and remember marigolds, calendulas and zinnias are easy to grow next year, from the seeds you save.

August 8, 2014
Ask Francine - Low Fat Sweet Potato Pie?

SweetPotatoPieWould you think it's possible to make a good fried sweet potato pie at home that is not loaded with saturated fat?

June 13, 2014
Summer Road Trip With the Furry Children

furry-friend-travel-2.jpgTaking the family for a summer road trip oftentimes includes the furry children. Kennels and pet sitters are costly and no one wants to leave the four-legged family members out of the fun. Your friends at Mast General Store are here to offer some tips that will help make your summer adventure a safe and enjoyable one for the furriest members of your family.