You loved your tree when you brought it home. It was gorgeous and full of life, and you decked it out with beautiful decorations and admired it greatly for the last two weeks or so. But now Christmas is over and your tree is dying. This year, instead of stripping your tree of it's last remaining dignity and tossing it to the curb, why not try a few fun ways to make it last even longer? These DIY's are simple and creative ways to preserve that $20-$40 you spent.

Tree Stump Coasters - Remove any low-hanging branches and twigs, and cut the stump of the tree into half-inch slices. (This could be tricky, and may take some strength, sharp cutlery, or a power tool.) Once you have your slices, use sandpaper on the flat surfaces on both sides. Then, coat the…

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I hope you had a happy, healthy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and enjoyed family and friends and maybe even started new traditions.  Maybe you volunteered by distributing presents to seniors at nursing homes or at hospitals in the pediatric units or served dinner at a community kitchen.  A group of my friends, who sing carols at Silver Lake Nursing Home each year, returned once again last Saturday.  Instead of singing only in the dining room, we visited the day room on each floor and were able to engage the residents in sing alongs.  I felt like we touched each resident, but, in reality, we were touched when many smiled, loudly sang along and thanked us when we left.  It took all I had to hold back the tears.  

To keep the holiday spirit in your heart…

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Anyone who is reliant on public transportation will tell you, there's always room for improvement when it comes to the MTA. Thankfully, Senator Diane Savino announced this past week that she has secured $350,000 in funding for the installation of digital bus stop signs.

In total, 18 new signs are to be installed on Staten Island's North Shore and some areas of Brooklyn. These signs will feature LED screens displaying in real-time how many stops the next bus has before arriving. There are already two pilot digital signs on the island- one at Hylan Blvd and Reno Ave, the other at Bay Street and Prospect Street, and both signs have been well-received by residents. Exact locations of the new signs are to be decided in the coming months.

The MTA has…

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Did you visit the Living Nativity at Salem Evangelical Church last week, listen to Choral music or breathed fresh air at one of our parks or nature areas. 

My grandson, Gerard, ever the aficionado of prehistoric creatures, and at age 3, can pronounce the names of every dinosaur, is in for a treat!  “Dinosaur Encounters” debuted at the Staten Island Zoo yesterday.  Eight animatronic dinos will be at the Zoo for four months until April 1.  Triggered by motion detectors, the beasts move heads and tails and grunt and growl hoarsely.  The exhibit is free with regular admission.  

Saturday, 12/20 and Sunday, 12/21, the Staten Island Ballet presents "The Nutcracker" at 1 and 5 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory…

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'Tis the season to decorate! Once again, we've compiled a fun, new Pinterest board, chock full o' unique home decorating ideas for the upcoming holidays. Check out the full board here!

Some of our favorite ideas:

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Almost. Fill your glass candle holders with chestnuts, walnuts, and any other nut you please. The nuts will add a decorative touch and the heat from the candle should give off a light aroma of toasted nuts throughout your home. *Just make sure you use an unscented candle, in case the candle scent doesn't mix with the smell of nuts.


Ice skates are a great reminder of the season any particular religious connotation. Dig out that old pair out from the attic and stuff them with your favorite…

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Open your hearts and your wallets this season by donating warm, winter clothing items to Project Hospitality for their Winter Clothing Drive.

The organization has helped more than 35,000 Staten Islanders in need this year, and plans on continuing their efforts through the new year. Residents are asked to donate new items (with tags on) such as hats, gloves, scarves, socks, sweatshirts, and more. The clothing will be given to the homeless and the less fortunate. 

Donations will be accepted at 100 Park Ave, in Port Richmond, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, now through January 6th. For more information, contact Project hospitality at (718) 448-1544.

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Staten Island, once known for it's farmland, is returning to it's "roots" with a new agriculture development in Bloomfield on the West Shore.

A vertical farm was planted back in October on the underutilized lands of the West Shore Green Zone on Bloomfield Avenue. The project came to life through a joint effort by the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) and Living Restoration, a start-up focused on integrating nature into already developed areas. With the help of Nanoponics, a Bloomfield-based company, a special soil blend was developed, containing slow-release nutrients which makes it last longer. A system of delivering water to the plants also needed to be devised, considering there was no usable water at the site.

The short…

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Was last weekend festive for you?  Did you sing along with all the holiday songs at St. Peter’s Girls and Boys H.S. Alumni Christmas Concert?  Did you join the Preservation League of Staten Island at their Holiday Party or purchase art work from the Snug Harbor Studio Artists? 

Beginning tonight, Friday, 12/12, and continuing through Sunday, 12/14 from 6-8, experience a live Nativity at Salem Evangelical Church at 644 Clove Rd.  In addition to the Nativity scene with costumed actors, live animas and a petting zoo, there is continuous Christmas caroling led by the Salem choir.  Inside, the guests can experience more live Christmas music, homemade cookies, hot chocolate and a time of quiet meditation in the sanctuary.  Call 718-442-7740 or visit…

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A new video has been released, featuring a virtual tour of the highly anticipated Empire Outlets planned for St. George.

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The animated video begins by providing statistics about New York City, including number of residents, tourists, and their shopping habits, while simultaneously taking the viewer on a virtual tour of the Empire Outlets shopping complex design. The video boasts over 100 retail shops are planned, as well as a 190-room boutique hotel offering waterfront dining and "unparalleled" views of the city skyline.

Early stages of construction have begun and the project is expected to be completed in 2016, making it the only outlet mall in New York City. The 630-foot tall New York Wheel will be the…

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The Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden is now accepting donations for their "Adopt a Lamppost" program, which has been spreading holiday cheer since 2010.

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All it takes is a $40 donation and the Snug Harbor crew will decorate a lamppost in the area with a festive wreath including a personalized plaque with your name! Each donation will reflect your support of the arts and culture on Staten Island. There are over 83 acres in the Snug Harbor area, but space and supplies are limited. The crew asks you to donate by December 19th so all wreaths can be up by the holidays.

If interested, call (718) 425-3517.

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