Tuesday, November 25, 2014

GAP Team's Road Trip Survival Guide

Winter is one of the most popular times of the year to travel. Some folks will travel south to escape the cold while others will stay and embrace the snow. Whether you’re taking a day trip to the mountain or driving across country to visit family, here is GAP’s holiday road trip survival guide.


Cell/Wifi reception isn’t always the best in the boonies on the way to Aunt Doris’ house. If you’re going on a ski trip or to the holiday family party, you’re going to need to know where you are and where you’re heading. The GAP team recommends packing a good old-fashioned paper map before you take to the road. Although smart-phones and tablets have map apps built in, you won’t have to worry about the battery dying and disappointing poor Aunt Doris.


Make sure you remember to pack your chargers. Your best bet is to pick up a car adapter for your chargers so you can charge your devices while on the go.


Arguably the most important item in GAP’s holiday trip survival kit, snacks can define the very essence of any road trip. Nobody likes a hangry roadtripper.


Another holiday road trip necessity. Make sure you pack your camera so you can always remember the fun you had in traffic! Just kidding…nobody wants to remember that.


These two items go hand in hand. They are especially important if you need to stay overnight at a hotel before heading back on the road. If you happen to get stuck in snow or covered overnight, you’ll be glad you packed these items. Bonus: Snow fort building


We hope you do not have to use the above items, but it can never hurt to have them on hand just in case something happens. Drive safe please.


At some point, probably when you realize you are meeting your significant other’s family for the first time, that awkward silence slithers its way into your car. You are going to need some tunes to distract you from the thought of her dad’s painful handshake. We recommend something relaxing, possibly some smooth jazz. You can thank us later.

Looking for some of these items to give away this Winter? Look no further, we have you covered. For orders and questions contact us at: sales@gappromo.com
See our presentation for details

Here are a few items we love to have on hand:

Hat with Built-in Flashlight

Universal USB Car Charger

Ice Scraper Mitt

Travel Mug

4-In-One Cell Phone Charger

Swivel Phone Holder with Suction Mount

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween vs. Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

As you may have already guessed from our past few blog posts, we’re huge fans of Halloween here at GAP. As a matter of fact, most of us have had our costumes picked out for this year’s festivities well in advance this month! Perhaps it’s a coincidence or perhaps it due in part to our offices’ proximity to Salem (arguably the Halloween capital of the world), but it’s safe to say that October 31st is one of the GAP team’s favorite days out of the whole year. So, in the spirit of Halloween, (Get it? The spirit of Halloween… No? Meh, it’ll come to you later.) we thought we would put together a little blog post clearing up one of the most popular misconceptions about the holiday.

If you were to ask a group of people how Halloween started, most will argue they know the answer. However, it usually ends up that everyone has a different answer. The most common answer among the GAP team has heard from those less educated in Halloween is that the holiday began as an extension of the Mexican holiday, Dia De Los Muertos. However, contrary to popular belief, Halloween actually has its roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhain. 

Samhain (pronounced Sah-Win) is celebrated from sunset on the 31st of October to sunset on the 1st of November and is meant to celebrate the end of Harvest Season and the beginning of winter as well as to mark the time of the year in which the world of the living is connected to the world of spirits. Traditions such as dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, and making jack-o-lanterns all come from this Gaelic festival.

One of the defining characteristics of Samhain was the act of “guising.” Guising involved people going from door to door while in costume and singing to those that answered in exchange for food. It is thought that these costumes were meant to disguise the people from the spirits that were roaming around and the food offered meant to appease the sprits. From this tradition, in combination with the collecting of soul cakes on All Saints/Souls Day, the act of Trick-or-Treating was formed.

Speaking of tricking, children quickly learned that dressing up as spirits and jumping out at people was a great way to get a few laughs while they were guising.  Oftentimes, the children would take hollowed out turnips, or beets, and carve scary faces on them so that when they lit a fire inside the vegetable, there appeared to be vengeful spirits approaching. Does this sound familiar? Well, it should because this tradition evolved throughout the years into what we know today as Jack-o-lanterns.

Now at this point, I imagine you’re asking yourself, “But wait! If Halloween has its roots in Samhain, then what is Dia De Los Muertos?” Well, that’s a fantastic question and we’d be more than happy to answer that for you! You see, Dia De Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead in English, is an International holiday that takes place predominately in Mexico. The celebration of the holiday can be dated back to roughly 3,000 years ago. Contrary to what its name suggests, the Day of the Dead is actually celebrated over the course of three days. 

It begins on October 31st, goes all throughout November 1st, and ends at the end of November 2nd. The purpose of the holiday, and its corresponding celebrations, is to celebrate the lives of deceased friends and family members. These celebrations include families going to their loved one’s graves, bringing the deceased’s favorite food and drinks, and cleaning their gravestones. Parades will also be held in honor of the deceased and skeleton decorations can be found all throughout the city/town. Residents will also place shrines with flowers around the cemetery and down the streets to invite the spirits back to the area.

So, whether you’re dressing up as Wolverine for Halloween, carving Jack-O-Lanterns for Samhain or celebrating a loved one for Dia De Los Muertos we hope you enjoy yourselves over the next few days. We certainly are! Check out some of the GAP Team showing off their Halloween costumes and taking part in a donut eating contest:

Pat "Hot Rod" Vaughn came in 1st Place!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Less than 10 days away from Halloween and you have no idea what to be? Don't worry! The GAP Team has you covered. Here are a few costumes we think are so simple and easy to make you could even procrastinate a little longer.

Stick Figure Costume

Photo Courtesy of All for the Boys Blog

  • white sweatshirt
  • white sweatpants
  • paper plate
  • scissors
  • black marker
  • black electrical tape
  • string

First, draw a circle along the outer edge of the paper plate to make the “head” of your costume. Next, trace two eyes and a mouth. Once you’ve traced them out, take your scissors and cut out holes where you traced so you can see and talk through your mask. Before you put the scissors away, use them to punch two holes in either side of the plate. Thread the piece of string through the holes and tie them tightly. The string will act as a headband and hold the mask to your face. Finally, take the black electrical tape and adhere it to both your sweatshirt and sweatpants so that you are “drawing” a stick figure's body. Now, simply put on the clothes and the mask and you have a perfect and easy last minute DIY Halloween costume.


Photo courtesy of Dan Bloomfield on Flickr

  • green sweatshirt with hood
  • green sweatpants
  • package of white pipe cleaners
  • tape (alternative: hot glue)

Simply bend each pipe cleaner into a “V” shape and tape them onto both your green sweatshirt and green sweatpants. (If you're looking for your costume to last all weekend, we suggest hot glue to ensure those needles stay put). Put the sweatshirt and sweatpants on, give the field goal signs with your arms, and congratulations! You are now a cactus.

Clark Kent

Photo courtesy of Coolest Homemade Costumes

  • Superman t-shirt
  • button-up dress shirt
  • black dress pants
  • dress shoes
  • black framed glasses

  • neck tie
  • wire hanger
  • wire cutters
  • newspaper, folded up

If you don’t already own a Superman t-shirt, walk into any Target, Walmart, or Old Navy and purchase one (typically $12 - $14). Wear your Superman t-shirt under a button-up shirt with the top three buttons open. Wear with black dress pants, dress shoes, and black glasses. This is the perfect costume if you’re not sure people are dressing up for the party you’re going to. Keep your shirt buttoned until you are sure.

*Bonus: To really get into character, wear a tie loosely fitted around your neck and carry around a newspaper. To make your tie look like it is flying behind you, take an old wire hanger and use wire cutters to cut to the length you need. Stick wire inside tie and bend as desired.

Cat Out of the Bag

Cat Ears and Tail

  • cat ears
  • cat tail
  • paper bag

*Bonus: makeup

Wear cat ears and tail. Hold an empty paper bag. Simple.

*Bonus: Use eye liner to draw whiskers on your cheeks. For more makeup inspiration check out our Halloween Costume Pinterest board.

Rosie the Riveter

Photo courtesy of Beyonce.com

  • chambray shirt
  • jeans
  • red bandana
  • red lipstick

*Bonus: "We Can Do It!" sign

Wear a chambray (denim) shirt and roll up the sleeves as pictured above. Pair with jeans and tie a red bandana around your head. Your hair can be pinned up or let loose like Beyonce's locks. For a glammed-up look, apply red lipstick and black eye liner.

*Bonus: Make a yellow and blue "We Can Do It!" poster to carry with you.

For more Halloween Costume ideas, check out our Pinterest Board.