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What’s Your Summer 2017 Bucket list?

The season of summer won’t officially end until September 22, giving you a chance to get done everything you wanted to do during Summer 2017. For those who may have had a short list and gotten through them all, here are ideas to add to your list.

Attend an outdoor summer concert: The perfect time of year to spend time outdoors listening to great music. And, many times your local area even has free ones!

Go to a drive-in: Summer is the perfect time for this. Roll your windows down and enjoy. There are even spots in your local area that have a community movie night in the park which usually is free.

Watch a sunset on the beach/lake: It may sound like a cliché, but watching the sunset on a beach or lake (whatever you have close to you) is staple of every summer.

Bonfire: Similar to watching the sunset is having a bonfire. Is it really summer if you don’t have and/or attend at least one bonfire?

Waterpark: If you have one around you, it is always a blast to go with your friends and family.

Take a road trip: Whether it be near or far getting away for the day or weekend is a summer must. It’s a great bonding experience and an overall blast.

Try something new: It doesn’t have to be something big like bungee jumping but stepping out of your comfort zone to try– even a new food– can be exciting.

With about a month and a half left of summer there is still plenty of time to get through this or your very own Summer Bucket List.

4th of July

When you think of summer you think of the 4th of July. This holiday brings about another sun-filled weekend spent with family and friends. While Memorial Day unofficially symbolizes the start of summer, the 4th of July lets us know summer is in full swing! By this time of year: it’s officially the summer season, the weather is quite warm and everyone is out of school.

No matter where you are in the country there is plenty to do in your local neighborhood. If you’re near a theme park, whether big or small, they are sure to have a form of celebration that includes fireworks.

Theme park not in the budget? The good thing about fireworks is that you can enjoy them from anywhere; so, find a spot around the theme park and enjoy the show. Also, if your local park is big enough they are more than likely to have a free celebration and if you can get there early enough, you’ll get to enjoy front row seats to a 4th of July extravaganza.

Of course, we can’t forget to mention those unforgettable 4th of July BBQs. They truly are the best – filled with friends and family, and all of your favorite yard games.

While we think of the 4th of July as another 3-day weekend, we can’t lose sight of why we celebrate this day. Also known as Independence Day, the 4th of July commemorates the United States’ Declaration of Independence over 200 years ago.

So, this 4th of July have a blast with those you cherish and celebrate our independence.

Tips for a Successful Summer BBQ

With summer officially approaching, it is safe to say barbecue season is here. Much effort goes into the planning and preparation of a good barbecue. There is the decision of what meat you will grill and even what theme to choose. To relieve some of the stress here are a few tips on executing a successful summer barbecue.

Tip 1
When it comes to barbecuing it is all about the flavor. Make sure to marinate your meat at least 5 hours before you plan to grill it. And if you really have time, 12 hours will ensure a more tender and flavorful meat for you and your guests.
To take your meat to the next level provide your guests with a side BBQ sauce to keep the flavor flowing.

Pro tip: Consider adding Mesquite Wood such as a hickory flavored wood. This is sure to impress your guests.

Tip 2
Have plenty of libations. From water to soda, beer and wine, make sure there is something for everyone and that it’s perfectly chilled for the hot summer days.

Tip 3
Have Sides. Even the perfect meat needs a little something on the side to give it that extra flavor. Serving salad is not only easy but also a crowd pleaser. The best part of serving salad is that your guests will feel like they are eating something healthy and probably let them enjoy the meat even more.

Tip 4
Last but not least have fun! There is plenty of planning that goes into trying to execute the perfect barbecue and with that comes stress. At the end of the day it is all about the company.

Happy barbecuing!

Memorial Day Fun

Unofficially marking the start of summer, Memorial day gives us three days to spend time with friends and family and enjoy the warm weather. The weekend’s activities are endless but there are a few that are a must-do.

Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to have a summer kick-off BBQ and if you’re not the one throwing it don’t miss out on attending one! With the heatwave of summer approaching laying out by the pool and going for a swim is almost essential. Not into swimming? No problem! Gather your friends and set up a few backyard games like horseshoes and corn hole. And don’t forget to check out your local parade. It’s a fun activity for the whole family and a great way to honor fallen soldiers as well as your local veterans.

While we have this day to spend with family and friends and enjoy all the fun that comes with this holiday, it is important to recognize why we do have it off and celebrate Memorial Day. Commemorated on the last Monday of May this holiday honors those whose lives were lost while serving in the United States Military.

It was in 1971 when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was officially enacted and designated Memorial Day to not only be on the last Monday of May but also a federal holiday giving everyone a guaranteed three-day weekend.

So on this Memorial Day, Monday May 29th, spend time with those you love and remember those who were lost.

 

Lookout Winter, Spring Is Here!

It’s that time of year when days get a little longer and the weather gets a little warmer. We officially transitioned into Spring on Monday March 20th. Known as the Vernal Equinox, Spring is marked by the time of year when the sun’s rays are exactly above the equator as a result of the sun crossing over from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere. So now that Spring is here what should you look forward to?

Longer days! No more are the days of pitch darkness at 5 o’clock in the evening. In fact, from this point on until the Summer Solstice in June, daylight will continue to grow leaving more time for you to be out and about. With more daylight comes an increase in temperature. Expect to feel the sun caress your face on those walks in the park. Onto what some may not look forward to…

Occasional April showers. We all know the saying “April showers bring May flowers”, even though flowers actually begin to bloom before May. Unfortunately, the blooming of beautiful flowers leads to those pesky allergies. So beware there will be pollen in the air!

Spring is also known for another pesky thing, spring cleaning, which puts pressure on us all to de-clutter our lives. You’ll hear the question “have you started spring cleaning yet?” over and over. Despite the hassle spring cleaning can make the rest of the year go smoothly. So here is to Spring and everything that it brings.

3 Easy Ways to Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day This Year

Let’s face it – no one wants to be pinched for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day!

But at the same time, you probably don’t want to wear so much green that you end up looking like a giant shamrock.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can easily incorporate green in your outfit. Let’s talk about 3 of them so you can enjoy a pinch-free St. Patrick’s Day!

An olive green piece

You might have to wear green, but there’s no rule saying it has to be bright green! Look through your closet to see if you have any olive green clothing.

You may be able to find an olive green jacket, pair of pants, or pair of shoes that will work well with an otherwise neutral-colored outfit.

A unique accessory

A great way to add some interest to your look is to use a pop of color in your outfit. And green can definitely be a color that pops!

Consider wearing an accessory that incorporates the color green. You can go big by wearing a bright green scarf, or you can keep it subtle by wearing a ring that features a green jewel.

It’s up to you!

A patterned shirt

If you work on St. Patrick’s Day, you might be concerned – you want to wear green and look professional at the same time.

If that’s the case, look for a dressy top that features a green pattern. You don’t have to wear solid green – even the tiniest bit of green will do.

Whatever you decide to wear, don’t be afraid to have fun with it. Chances are, your co-workers and loved ones will all be wearing their own St. Patrick’s Day outfit too!

 

 

 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With One of These 7 Fun Date Ideas

Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly. Have you planned a date yet?

If not, don’t worry – this post has 7 fun date ideas for you to choose from. Keep reading, and get to planning!

Recreate your first date

There’s nothing as romantic and exciting as reliving your first date with your loved one. If you want to try this, go all out – maybe even wear the same outfit you wore on your first date and meet up at the same time!

Cook a meal together and watch your favorite movie

Pick up some groceries to make your loved one’s favorite meal, and cook together with relaxing music playing in the background. Then, kick back on the couch together and watch a movie – perfect for the romantic homebody!

Go on a mini vacation

No matter where you live, there’s something exciting to do within driving distance of your apartment. Find a nearby place you can stay for the weekend, and plan a trip!

Enjoy a relaxing spa day

Enjoy hot tubs, massages, and maybe even some delicious food at a local spa – you’ll end the day feeling more relaxed than ever!

Hit up a karaoke bar

Looking for a night out on the town? If so, a karaoke bar is one place you won’t want to miss out on. Be silly with your loved one, and record each other singing. You’re sure to have a great time and make memories you’ll look back on fondly!

Go skating

If you don’t live near an ice skating rink, try to find a roller skating rink. You’ll feel close to your loved one as you hold hands and skate together!

Make reservations at a fancy restaurant

That restaurant that’s normally too fancy for the average dinner date? Reserve a table there, and dress up in your best clothes. It’ll be a totally unique experience that you’ll remember for years to come!

Whatever you decide to do, don’t be afraid to try something new. Who knows – you just might end up having your best Valentine’s Day date ever!

 

 

3 Helpful Tips for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolution

2017 is finally here! And as you know, with every new year comes New Year’s resolutions.

Whether your goals for 2017 are related to your health, your career, your relationships, or something else, here are 3 tips to help you get what you want!

1.      Set specific goals

For example, if you want to get into better shape this year, your goal wouldn’t just be to “get into better shape.”

Instead, you would set a specific goal, like:

  • Go to the gym 4 times per week
  • Run a 5K by the end of the year
  • Start taking kickboxing classes once per week

The more specific your goals are, the more likely you’ll be to achieve them because you’ll know exactly what you need to do.

2.      Make gradual changes

Let’s face it – you can’t expect to overhaul your lifestyle overnight. Don’t set unrealistic goals and beat yourself up for not meeting them. Instead, set gradual goals and work up to them.

Back to the “getting into better shape” example – you could start out going to the gym twice a week and then up the frequency to 4 times per week by March 2017. Then, you could increase the frequency even more as you get more comfortable working the gym into your schedule!

3.      Create a schedule that includes your goals

To achieve your goals this year, it’s best to schedule them into your calendar. Then, treat them as non-negotiable appointments – just as if they were unmissable work meetings or doctor’s appointments.

When you make something a part of your routine this way and prioritize it, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to make a change!

 

 

4 Cozy Candle Scents Perfect for Your Apartment in the Winter

Winter is finally here! What better way to spruce up your apartment for the chilly season than to fill the air with cozy scents from your favorite candles?

  1. Apple cinnamon

This signature holiday scent combines the smell of crisp apples with the warmth of spicy cinnamon, and it’s sure to make your apartment feel cozier than ever.

  1. Gingerbread

Nothing beats the smell of freshly-made gingerbread! It typically includes hints of vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

There’s no doubt about it – you and your guests will love the welcoming scent of holiday baking.

  1. Hot cocoa

With the temperature dropping outside, you might start getting a regular craving for a cup of hot cocoa!

The good news is that you don’t just have to settle for enjoying the smell of hot cocoa while you’re drinking it. You can pick up a scented hot cocoa candle and fill the air with the delicious aroma of chocolate any time you want!

  1. Cedarwood

This woodsy scent is perfect if you want a more masculine, earthy smell to fill your apartment this season. It’s sure to add a warm tone – you’ll feel like you’re walking through a snow-covered forest, all from the comfort of your apartment!

Choose your favorite scent from this list, light a candle, and snuggle up in your favorite blanket – you’ll feel warm and cozy in no time!

 

3 Fun Décor Ideas for an Unforgettable Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s finally November, and you know what that means – Thanksgiving will be here before you know it!

Whether you’re hosting a dinner for the first time or you’re no stranger to inviting guests into your apartment for the holidays, keep reading to discover 3 décor ideas you can use to create an unforgettable Thanksgiving experience.

Use layering

Look at pictures of stunning dinner tables on Pinterest, and you’ll notice most of them have one thing in common:

They use layering.

Rather than simply placing one plate on a bare table, they’ll use placemats, multiple plates, and other elements to create a fine dining experience right in their home.

If you want to try this, start by finding placemats, napkins, and plates for your table. Don’t be afraid to mix different textures and dinnerware styles – it’s a great way to add contrast and have fun with your décor!

Spruce up your chairs

Dressing up your dining room chairs for the holiday is a great way to make your Thanksgiving dinner stand out.

For example, you could start by wrapping a piece of burlap around the back of each chair. Then, you could add a bow on top of each piece of burlap to create a holiday-inspired, layered look.

Experiment and choose a style that meshes with the rest of your décor!

Create a mason jar centerpiece

One way to do this is to paint and/or decorate the jars, fill them with flowers, and tie a bow around them.

Whatever you do, just keep in mind that you’ll probably want to avoid excessively tall centerpieces. Sure, they can be stunning in the right setting – but you don’t want your guests struggling to see each other from right across the table!

After all, the holidays are all about spending time with loved ones. Make the most of it this year, and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

 

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