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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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      8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

      8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

      We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

      On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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      Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

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      A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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      2. Smart Kitchen Tools

      Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

      3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

      If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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      4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

      These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

      5. Nest Thermostat

      This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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      6. Smart Lighting

      Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

      7. Google Chromecast Ultra

      Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

      8. Canary

      This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

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