Tag Archives: activities

The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

Standard
The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

It feels like it’s been a long and cold winter. Indeed, it probably feels even longer and colder than it has been because fun and good times have been in short supply thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other global issues. However, if there’s one thing that we should all remember, it’s that winter doesn’t last forever. In the not too distant future, we’ll all be able to enjoy all of the pleasures that can come from spending time in the sunshine with friends and family.

And what’s the best way to enjoy these moments? By having a BBQ! In this post, we’ll run through some tried and tested tips that will make you the host with the most:

Prepare‌ ‌the‌ ‌Yard‌:

The food will take center stage, but it’s important to remember that the yard will provide the backdrop for the BBQ. As such, it’s worthwhile getting it into shape beforehand. There are numerous ways to do this. A little bit of landscaping will go a long way, so there’s no need to go overboard and create an oasis (unless you want to). The most important aspect will be to have plenty of comfortable seating options and, if possible, to make the yard feel private.

Simple‌ ‌and‌ ‌Delicious‌ ‌Recipes‌:

People are going to judge the quality of the BBQ by the overall atmosphere of the day, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the quality of the food is important, too. The good thing about BBQs is that even the simple classics will do the trick. Hamburgers and hot dogs are the way to go! Just make sure that it’s high-quality meat. Don’t forget dessert, too; there are plenty of easy fruit salad recipes that are perfect for summer afternoons. If you don’t want to be responsible for all the food, then you can ask your guests to bring some with them – if everyone brings something small, then everyone will eat well.

Remember the Drinks:

What’s a BBQ without drinks? All meals should have drinks by their side, but it becomes even more important for BBQs since it’s usually so hot out. While you can provide the basics, such as soda, beer, and wine, it’s also fun to push the boat out a little. Could you make some homemade lemonade or create a cocktail station where people can make their own colorful and delicious drinks?

Bring the Music:

BBQs are all about sinking into all of the good times that summer can bring. So do your best to create a fun and light atmosphere, one that allows people to escape the worries of everyday life. The best ways to do this are to play a killer summer playlist and to provide some games. If you’ve got some reggae or otherwise good-vibe music on the stereo, and people can play twister or other fun yard games, then your BBQ will be a hit.

Enjoy the weather, food, and good company with the tips above to make your BBQ the best on the block!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

Standard
Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

Howdy! The warm weather brings us the exciting promise of seeing friends more safely in an outdoor setting. However, it is still so important that we maintain a social distance because COVID-19 and variants of the virus are still a very real threat. Today, we’re going to look at a few outdoors activities that can be done from a social distance and are a lot of fun too. Try incorporating the following into your next outing with friends:

Paint A Masterpiece:

Pre-COVID, paint nights were insanely popular and for good reason – they’re a blast! And now, they can make a comeback because having a painting party outside is a possibility. For a project, you could all find something different to try your hand at painting or even hire a local artist to walk you through a summer landscape. Set up blankets six feet apart from each other with some snacks, drinks, and art supplies on each one. You could host the party in your own backyard or at a local park. No matter how your masterpiece turns out, it will be so nice to create with your friends in the fresh air.

Food Wars:

Everyone who likes to grill more than likely thinks they are the best at it lol so put the skills of those in your friend group to the test with a good old fashioned cook off. Every week you could have different categories like appetizers, main dishes, and desserts so the less grill savvy can participate and keep track of how everyone is faring on score cards. By the end of summer, you will find out who is the master chef!

Gardening Group:

Gardening is such a rewarding hobby and can be done from a social distance. Perhaps you and your friends could start a garden together that you can all help tend to so everyone can have fresh veggies and flowers all summer long. Of course, it doesn’t have to end there! Look up recipes that utilize the veggies you are growing and host a garden party to showcase your hard work.

Games Tournament:

Work hard play hard, amiright? But seriously, there are so many fun outdoor games that can be played from a social distance so why not put together a backyard tournament for your friends? Cornhole, bocce ball, croquet, and horseshoes are all great places to start. Don’t forget that there are huge outdoor versions of classic games like Jenga, chess, checkers, and Connect 4. If anyone has children, you could all work together to create an outdoor Candy Land board for them to enjoy.

For bonus categories in your tournament you could include best sidewalk chalk art, best bubble soap, most Pogo Stick jumps, and the like for even more fun in the sun.

Backyard Water Park:

Okay, stay with me here but how cool would a backyard water park that you and your friends put together be? I have been thinking about this so much because the pool at my apartment community won’t be open again this summer and it would be nice to have somewhere to cool off! Now, when I say water park, I don’t mean huge slides and a wave pool. No, I’m talking an ultimate Slip n’ Slide, sprinklers, water balloons, a kiddie pool to soak your feet, a sand castle building set up, and an area to work on your tan. And, of course, an endless supply of concession stand style snacks and lemonade. I think that would just be the best!

I feel like people hear the phrase “social distance” and they instantly think “less fun” but that isn’t the case at all. You just have to get a little creative, like with the ideas above, and you will safely enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors all while having a ball. 😀

What are you looking forward to this summer? How do you plan on seeing your friends social distance style? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

More Fun & Games

Standard
More Fun & Games

Hello! A few weeks ago, Johnny surprised me with a bunch of board games for us to play together and the last one in his haul arrived in the mail earlier this week. We have been having such a good time playing something other than Diablo III nonstop and are especially partial to the adventure board game, Horrified. Clearly, we enjoy more intense gaming options but that doesn’t mean we don’t like silly games too – and the latest addition to our board game collection definitely falls under that category! Check it out:

FA8B946C-619F-40D4-A071-2B17EF0036BDCE5A90C5-B17E-4F4D-81A5-72CDA23F74C9

Johnny and I are both huge Seinfeld fans and after purchasing Seinfeld Clue, he couldn’t not get the Festivus board game! Lol, Johnny and I were both in stitches just from the box and the directions. We have yet to play it because we think it would be better with more people but are excited to try it out during future game nights with our friends. As the box states several times, it really is a Festivus miracle and has inspired Johnny and I to get our own Festivus pole come the holiday season.

When we’re not saving our village from movie monsters in Horrified, Johnny has just started helping me with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I spent my childhood watching my siblings play Zelda games and while I have tried playing a few, I have never beaten one. Johnny, on the other hand, has beat them all several times and promised me he would guide me through Ocarina of Time when we inherited our friend’s Nintendo 64 and all of his old games. I’m still getting the hang of it and I am so glad to have Johnny’s expertise every step of the way.

Finally, I just beat Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door which Johnny got me for Valentine’s Day. In my youth, I rented this game from the video store but couldn’t beat the final boss so I was thrilled to reign supreme well over a decade later lol. The Thousand Year Door was such fun to play and I can’t wait to get the N64 Paper Mario so I can have the complete collection!

What is your favorite board game? How about your favorite video game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Fun & (Board) Games

Standard
Fun & (Board) Games

Hello! Johnny and I spent this past winter hibernating with our video games and streaming services and while we will never tire of playing Diablo III together, we both agreed it would be nice to have more variety. While we love video gaming, we both enjoy playing board games, classic card games, and Magic The Gathering too. In total, we have five different video game systems so we were never hurting in that department. However, we were definitely lacking when it comes to board games. Until Johnny made some surprise purchases a few weeks ago, that is.

The day before Johnny proposed, he was running some errands and ended up at Off The Wagon – a toy store in Kent. There, he got us three new board games as well as a fourth one from Walmart and we have played at least one round of something every day since. Check it out:

99EEFCF3-DC5B-41CD-9EBD-49753BCADB282FBEBDAE-C7ED-4FEA-BAC1-BCB36225A4CCBD75A5CC-FB74-42FF-AB00-C41E3C07836C

^^^ Johnny bought Horrified, Scrabble, and Seinfeld Clue from Off The Wagon and Betrayal At House On The Hill from Walmart.

My fiance is, hands down, the most thoughtful person I have ever met and his board game haul is another shining example of that. We had been talking about doing some board game shopping a few days before he made his purchases and I was delighted when he showed me his buys because, had I been there, I probably would have bought the exact same things.

Scrabble was a must because we both love word games (I will always like playing Scrabble with my mom best, though!). Seinfeld Clue was another obvious choice because that is our favorite show and we are in stitches every time we try to figure out whodoneit. We need three players for Betrayal At House On The Hill so we have yet to play but it looks like a lot of fun! Which brings us to Johnny’s last pick and, easily, our favorite of the lot: Horrified.

Horrified is an adventure cooperative game with the purpose of saving a town from classic movie monsters like Dracula, The Invisible Man, and Frankenstein and his Bride. You and your teammates work together to solve puzzles, save villagers, and slay monsters while avoiding getting attacked yourself. At first, Johnny and I were a bit intimidated by Horrified because it seemed awfully complicated. However, it was way less complex than we originally thought and got the hang of it really quickly.

We both have never played anything like Horrified before and it is so much fun that we have already began looking for similar games. Johnny and I are both huge horror fans and going face to face with characters like The Wolfman and Mummy is exciting. Horrified will never be played the same way twice and sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. No matter the outcome, we are always glad to have played and I highly recommend it!

What is your favorite board game? Do you have any cooperative game recommendations for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hosting The Perfect Game Night

Standard
Hosting The Perfect Game Night

When your favorite sports team sets the date for an important game, hosting a party with your fellow supporters is one of the best ideas you can indulge in. Organizing an amazing games night needn’t be as difficult as you might expect, as there are a few key tips and tricks that you can make the most of today:

Decorate The Space:

Whether you’ve booked out a venue or you’re just hosting your games night in the comfort of your living room, decorating the space in preparation for your fellow supporters arrival is an essential step to take. Prepping your venue to make it fun and inviting will add to the atmosphere dramatically, setting the scene for a brilliant game night that’s full of laughter and excitement! You can start off by sourcing a few balloons that match your team’s colors, as this is the most affordable option to upgrade your space. Investing in personalized banners or posters that show your support for your team can be a more flashy choice.

Don’t forget, if you’re hosting at home, it might be a good idea to prepare for mess – putting any fragile, breakable decor away is recommended, as you don’t want a happy celebration to turn into an apologetic embarrassment.

Provide Food & Drink:

Having some tasty snacks and a few delicious drinks to wash them down with will add a whole new level to your game night, and your guests will go home happy with full tummies no matter what the score ends up being! A finger food buffet of easy-to-eat no-mess options is going to be your best bet, as you don’t want to have to sit down and eat with a fork and plate when celebrations can occur at any moment. Sliders, fries, pastries, crisps and dip, cupcakes, and similar options are usually great crowd pleasers! If you’re stuck on what to create, take a look around online to find a wide variety of game night recipes that you can whip up in record time to impress your fellow supporters.

Souvenirs:

Purchasing some personalized team shirts or scarves from a uniform store will give your guests something to take home with them and use again, and they’ll remember the game night night every time they see it! Make sure that you find a reputable provider from whom you can place an order with confidence, as you don’t want to waste money or time with poor quality souvenir options.

Hosting the best game night for you and your fellow supporters to enjoy has never been so simple with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

Standard
Gift Ideas For Warm Weather Birthdays

Hi! In my family, there are eight spring and summer birthdays that I have to shop for so I am never lacking in gift ideas for warm weather birthdays. Shopping for birthdays that take place when the weather is nice is a great opportunity to purchase outdoor activity based gifts. Activity gifts always go over well but will be an even bigger hit this year since we are all itching to get outside and enjoy the weather. Let’s go over some of my favorite ideas:

Gardening Supplies/Outdoor Decor:

Spring and summer are, of course, the prime gardening times so if your giftee has a green thumb, then you can’t go wrong with gardening supplies. From raised planters and pots to seeds, tools, and insect hotels – any garden improvement supplies are sure to be appreciated. You could even offer your help weekly to tend to the garden since that is an activity that can be achieved from a social distance.

If your giftee is not so gifted in the garden, outdoor decor can really help enhance their space. Bird baths, houses, and feeders, wind chimes, decorative solar lights, and benches are all great places to start. Setting up a bird feeding station in your giftee’s backyard will allow them to enjoy nature without having to get their hands dirty.

Outdoor Games:

At this point, I’m sure everyone is bored of board games so anything that can be played outside is sure to please. Bocce ball, cornhole, croquet, and horseshoes can all be played from a social distance. There are even huge outdoor versions of classic games like checkers, chess, Connect 4, and Jenga. Outdoor games are such fun and can be used year after year so they are perfect for friends who love to entertain when the weather permits.

Summertime Treats:

What is the warm weather without popsicles, smoothies, snow cones, and ice cream? Nothing, I tell you! All of the treats that I just mentioned to help cool you down on a hot day can be made from home so you could gift the appliance or supplies needed to make them. Don’t forget a recipe book so they have plenty of ideas to work with and your gift doesn’t become just a one time use item. Perfect for the person on your list with a sweet tooth.

Warm weather is also a great time to enjoy spritzers and cocktails so if you are shopping for an amateur bartender, the ingredients for light and refreshing drinks would make a nice addition to the home bar.

Painting Supplies:

Paint nights are insanely popular and are fun for the artistic and not so much alike. They can also be done in the great outdoors so how about preparing a paint night kit for your giftee? Find inspiration for a painting project on Pinterest, get the necessary supplies, a blanket to sit on, and a picnic basket to hold everything. You could even double the order to make it work for a date night for your giftee and their significant other! Whomever it is you are shopping for will love getting in touch with their creative side while enjoying the weather and will be touched by how thoughtful the gift is too. 🙂

Get started on your warm weather birthday shopping with the ideas above that will keep your giftee smiling in the sunshine for as long as the weather allows!

What season is your birthday in? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Learning A New Hobby? Remember These Tips!

Standard
Learning A New Hobby? Remember These Tips!

When bringing a new practice, hobby, or discipline into our lives, we can often go through the ‘honeymoon period’ where everything seems awesome and we’re excited to learn more and more. Of course, many of us find that starting out can sometimes be quite difficult, especially when we meet a challenge we’re not prepared to deal with, or if we have a long period of training that seems to be progressing slowly.

But that’s fine, after all, Rome isn’t built in a day, and we can’t expect to be perfect at our new practice within the span of a week. For that reason, it’s important to be prepared for this process and, instead, focus on what matters – setting up your passion as properly as we can. This can prevent us from getting bored and moving onto the next new thing, which often leaves us with endless practices that have been given up on which you might come to regret later.

If you’re getting into a new hobby or practice, focus on these three efforts to keep yourself grounded, too:

Keep Cultivating Your Inspiration:

Keep cultivating your inspiration if you can. It really does make a difference in the long run. For example, when hoping to play guitar, you might focus on listening to the great acoustic players such as Don Ross or Anton Dufour. This way, you can more easily feel a sense of kinship with the beauty of your craft, have an ideal to work towards, and more easily shrug off the difficulties on the journey to competence.

Focus On Your Possible Route Forward:

Focusing on your possible route forward can help you more readily stage your learning and practice habits. It’s better to give yourself a set amount of time to practice each day and set mini-goals for yourself rather than try to take too much on at once. This helps you to enjoy the process of learning rather than forcing yourself to become an expert at once and, unfortunately, too many people choose this latter option. Remember, the journey should be just as enjoyable as the destination.

Learn Practical Skills:

It’s good to focus on the actual craft of a hobby or skill rather than the simple image it provides. Of course, you don’t have to be absolutely perfect at learning perspective in order to paint well and to enjoy yourself doing it, but you will gain a lot from the practice, and learning techniques is fun in itself! You might spend time learning how to read piano sheet music in order to learn more quickly and benefit from this highly practical skill, richly rewarding your practice sessions and lessons from then on.

With this advice, we hope that you can get into learning and perfecting your new hobby with confidence. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

Standard
Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

Hello! Life in lock down is, honestly, so boring at this point but the safety of ourselves, loved ones, and complete strangers is important and it makes all of the monotony worth it. If you have exhausted all of your ideas to keep you occupied at home, then it might be time to retire from your streaming services and try a new craft. There are so many amazing videos, kits, and how to guides out there to create something new and, today, we’re going to discuss a few of those options:

Knit Kits:

If you are interested in knitting, crochet, or macrame or would like to take the hobby up again, then there are so many websites that you can purchase kits from. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and advanced, each kit provides you with the pattern, step by step guide, and materials needed for you to make a scarf, sweater, or blanket. Stitch & Story, We Are Knitters, and Wool And The Gang are all great websites to browse through for your next project! When the weather is nice, you could even host a social distanced knitting circle in your own backyard.

Restoring Old Furniture:

A trip to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or even shopping online through Facebook Marketplace can give you access to all kinds of gently used furniture just begging for a makeover. You could repair, repaint, or reupholster new life into secondhand items and redo your entire living room. Not to mention, make some extra cash if you ever want to turn your craft into a side hustle. Don’t forget garage sale style apps as well as Poshmark if you would like to profit from your new hobby.

Building With LEGO:

My boyfriend and I absolutely love building with LEGO and, although it isn’t a craft per se, I just had to include it on this list. Did you know that a LEGO replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night will soon be available for purchase? What about a botanical collection that boasts bouquets, bonsai trees, and succulents? LEGO is constantly adding new sets with unique pieces and colors and are always finding innovative ways to work surprises into each build, which makes it an exciting hobby to have.

You can showcase your creative side with LEGO through free building or incorporating different sets into your home decor. I would sure like to have a LEGO Starry Night hanging on my wall!

Homemade Products:

Making your own cleaning products, candles, and bath and body care can be a really fun hobby, makes great gifts, and helps save you money. Online guides will help you develop your new craft and you can even experiment with your own recipes once you have a better idea for the best ingredients and techniques. You will feel comforted in knowing exactly what is going into the products that you are using and, who knows, it could just turn into a side hustle in the future if you create something really good!

Don’t forget to check in with your local businesses and boutiques because some of the owners might be offering online workshops for homemaking different products or art. For example, the local specialty knitting shop in my area, Harps & Thistles, offers knitting kits too and it’s always cool to shop local. 🙂

Have you learned a new craft during the pandemic? How about improved on any old hobbies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

Standard
Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home so why not get better acquainted with it during your next family night as opposed to the usual movies or games. Kitchens are meant to be used and enjoyed and creating a meal with your family gives you the opportunity to work as a team in a different activity while still spending quality time together. Who knows, you might just have a secret chef in your home! Try the following during your next family night for some good food and good fun:

Agree On A Menu:

If you are going to prepare an entire dinner with your family, then it is best to agree on a menu beforehand so you can pick up all of the necessary ingredients and save you from any surprise trips to the store. Is there going to be a cuisine style that should be adhered to? Is each person going to make their own dish or will tasks be delegated? Will there be enough options for people with dietary needs? All of this should come into consideration while preparing the menu to ensure that everything goes smoothly while cooking your meal.

Don’t forget to read your recipes carefully for instructions that you must complete beforehand or a crazy long cooking time so you can plan accordingly. It also doesn’t hurt to assign stations for everyone to work in so no one gets their toes stepped on and remember to tend to any fridge repairs that need done so all of your leftovers can keep!

Baking & Decorating:

If you’d rather move right onto dessert than try your hand at cooking a whole meal as a family, then that’s okay too! Baking and decorating desserts is fun for children and adults alike. You could even incorporate a competition element to the evening by offering a small prize for the best tasting (or decorated) dessert. Classic desserts are sure to please but there are plenty of creative updates on old favorites that you can try like cake pops and hot chocolate bombs. Making your own chocolate is also a great activity for those with a sweet tooth. 😀

Smoothies:

Going out for a hike with the family in the afternoon and returning home to make some smoothies seems like the perfect way to spend a spring day. Encourage everyone to make their own concoctions with a wide assortment of fruits and low fat yogurts to pick from. Smoothies are also great for sneaking in some veggies like spinach, kale, or carrots.

Slime & Play Dough:

Perhaps, you’d rather use your family time in the kitchen to whip up a few batches of slime or play dough together. If so, there are countless recipes online that you can follow for some colorful, creative fun made with ingredients in your own house. Your kids are sure to have a blast!

Retire your living room for family night and head to the kitchen instead for a more hands on, interactive evening. Creating in the kitchen as a family will encourage team work and help introduce children to different concepts in math like fractions and units of measurement. It’s just as educational as it is wholesome fun.

LEGO Architecture Paris Skyline Set

Standard
LEGO Architecture Paris Skyline Set

Hi! My boyfriend, Johnny, and I love building with LEGO and we have quite the collection of Harry Potter and Star Wars sets. For Valentine’s Day, Johnny and I never really go overboard with gifts for each other and one of the two things that I got him was the Paris skyline LEGO set from their Architecture collection. Paris is, easily, one of the most romantic places in the world and it is somewhere that I would love to go with Johnny.

Given the world’s current conditions, it will be a long time until we make it there so, for now, our own little Paris on our knick knack shelf will suffice! Check it out:

C2F39732-B923-4D57-8612-C582BA9EAD404D2C8152-5830-485A-87D8-0EF020EE479DFA4CF357-CF1E-41F7-BC2C-F27767F94402A26EFB45-2F77-4DDF-9BB0-C789B48DC0B193CBD723-B28E-4D9D-B76A-569809ED799FEC8185EC-62E0-4E51-9597-7DB2BBEB229A04C408C6-9E01-43D3-AD24-26D57786271E

When building with LEGO, Johnny and I have our process down to a science. He handles all of the little pieces and details while I build with the bigger bricks because putting the small ones together are impossible with my nails! As you can see, the Paris Architecture set is completely made up of teeny tiny bricks so Johnny built it in its entirety in a matter of an hour while we talked and listened to music. I was blown away by how quickly he got it done!

Our Paris set is the first one that we have gotten together that is not inspired from a movie and it was the perfect introduction to the LEGO Architecture collection. I am so looking forward to when Johnny and I can travel together because I would love to have a LEGO skyline set of the places that we visit. Each skyline set boasts the most recognizable landmarks in each city. For Paris, this included the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Tour Montparnasse, Grand Palais, Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysees.

Johnny really enjoyed building this set because it was so different than anything that we already have. I am so happy that my Valentine’s Day gift to him was a success and be sure to keep it posted to see what Johnny surprised me with!

Where would you love to travel to? Which LEGO sets do you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah