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Summertime Suggestions To Make Your Parties Great

Summertime Suggestions To Make Your Parties Great

Summer is a time for enjoying life outdoors. Here are some ideas to make your summer parties great again!

‘Tis the season for grilling

From a hibachi to a high-end Weber Summit stainless-steel, get outside and grill.

Marinate your meat in olive oil and fresh peppers. Rub your chicken in hanaheros or another spicy pepper. Just get adventurous with flavours. Throw fresh, seasonal produce on the grill. Throw everything on the grill! You can even grill peaches — an idea I found after stumbling upon a great summer BBQ checklist.

If you are like me, you are probably looking for an excuse to drink when you are behind the grill. I find BBQ recipes that call for bourbon so when the parental figures come around and give me looks of reproach, I can simply point to the recipe and get them off my back. Bourbon is a perfect ingredient for BBQ sauce (and for sipping while grilling!).

Get thee to a fire pit

When the night falls, the party doesn’t have to end. Find a fire pit to turn the day into a night party!

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A summer night around the fire pit is a night of conversation that usually turns into more engaging conversational territory. There’s something about a night around a fire that promotes a different sort of discourse. You can hide in the shadows, but when the campfire singing of inspirational tunes begins, well it’s hard not to join in — regardless of where you stand on the topic of conversation.

Glamp it out!

Bring out the camper and glam it up. Glamping is a hot thing right now.

Maybe you have vague plans to go camping this summer but you’re afraid the summer may slip by and that camper will stayed parked and inactive throughout the season. Some of the best plans — even in the summer — get buried under a full calendar of activities.

Bring your camper into focus and turn it into a party annex. Roll it out into a prominent place and deck it out with some fanciful personality. Make it a destination. You can even turn it into a bar for the adults during summer celebrations.

If you don’t end up camping again this summer (although the chances are probably higher if you bring it out), your glamping-in-place will enhance your summer parties.

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We are turning this:

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    Image source: Clinton Wilson

    Into something like this:

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    Glamper5

      Image source: MaryAnn Zimmerman

      Let your imagination run wild this summer. Get bold. Get crazy. That’s what the summer is all about.

      Outdoor markets

      Go to your local farmer’s markets to find the best seasonal produce to throw on the grill or to toss into a colorful salad. Summer is a busy time, and it’s probably easier just to follow routine and travel to the supermarket, but it is rewarding to know that you are supporting local growers. The interactions you’ll have with farmers and patrons of these markets is an experience unto itself. If you have kids, this is a great teaching moment to get them thinking about sustainability, GMOs, and buying organic.

      Outdoor festivals

      There are outdoor festivals in your area that you’ve probably thought about attending throughout the years but have never made it to. When Labor Day rolls around, you feel a pinch of regret that you never made it to the events you’d planned to attend. Don’t let 2016 be that summer.

      In most communities, there are great festivals or concerts (many of them free) offered in the summer. Challenge yourself and go out and see something you’ve never seen before.

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      Throw a neighborhood party

      You see your neighbors all of the time around the hood, but maybe you’ve never met most of them. Seize an opportunity this summer to get to know your neighbors by throwing an early evening party with light snacks and wine. Make some flyers and walk door to door to offer a personal invitation. Keep your invitations on hand so you can hand deliver them when you see the neighbors walking their dogs or going out to retrieve the mail.

      Turn your summer memories into prints

      By the end of the summer, you’ve probably amassed a heap of images on your phone, on Instagram, or on Facebook. Collect the best of them and print them in a photo book that you can display on your coffee table. Keep the memories of summer alive throughout the year!

      Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

      There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

      One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

      In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

      Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

      1. Cat Camel Stretch

      Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

      Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

      Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

      Here’s a video to guide you through:

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      2. Go for a Walk or a Run

      This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

      Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

      The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

      Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

      Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

      3. Jumping Jacks

      Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

      Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

      4. Abductor Side Lifts

      Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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      Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

      5. Balancing Table Pose

      This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

      Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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        6. Leg Squats

        Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

        Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

        The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

        7. Push Ups

        You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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        An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

        Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

        This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

        8. Bicycle Crunches

        There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

        Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

        9. Lunges

        Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

        Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

        This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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        10. Bicep Curls

        You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

        Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

        Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

        Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

        Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

        These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

        You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

        Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

        More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

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