How to Host a Springtime BBQ

When the weather gets warmer, spring and summer can be such wonderful times to enjoy. You can get outside late into the evenings, dining al fresco, and get the grill going for BBQs in the sunshine. If you want to host the best BBQ with friends, then here are some tips to make sure that you are the hostess with the mostess.

Prep food before your guests arrive

When guests know they are coming to something that involves food, they are going to come hungry. Most of these BBQ tips can come from people correcting their mistakes, and one of them is not having food prepared before guests arrive. You want to have salads ready to service and meat marinated and chopped ready to go on the frill. Then you can get down to the main event of eating, sooner rather than later. So give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead and get everything ready, and it will make you feel much less stressed too.

All the condiments

When it comes to a BBQ, you can’t go too far wrong by getting all of the condiments for the group. This can involve getting the best BBQ sauce for wings, dressings for salads, salt and pepper, and other condiments that will suit, such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. There will be something that everyone likes and they’ll help to make their dishes much more appealing.

Decorate outside

Decorating outside is something that takes the BBQ to a party, rather than just any other day out in the yard. You could decorate with things like lanterns and balloons, as well as decorating with lights and bunting. Making sure that there is enough lighting out there is a good idea. Getting tableware, along with things like tablecloths, will help to bring it in altogether and make the party look great.

Drinks

The fun of a BBQ is having fun drinks and staying out until it starts to get dark. You could get a cooler for drinks, or just get a stylish bucket filled with ice, where drinks can be stored to keep them cool. You could also line up some Kilner jar glass drinks dispensers for people to help themselves to, and they look super cute too. If people are bringing children, then this can be a neat idea as you can have soft drinks and water for little ones who can then help themselves.

Games and entertainment

The main event may be the food, and you and your friends may prefer to eat, drink, and talk at the table, late into the evening. If it is more of a family affair, you want to get up and move with your guests, then think about what kind of entertainment you could have. It might be that just putting on a playlist for people to dance to is enough, but you could get some backyard games for people to play, from badminton to Twister, or Cornhole. Think about what would be fun for your guests, and then you can plan accordingly. 

It’s Time to Spring Clean!

The past year feels like we have all cleaned and sanitized nearly everything within an inch of its life. But as spring approaches, thinking about spring cleaning is still as relevant as ever. But where do you even start with this kind of thing? You might be lacking in motivation to sort and clean your apartment and get those jobs done that you have been putting off. But if you get it done now, then it is done and you can focus on enjoying the rest of spring and summer. 

Have a plan in place

If you want to not have to spend more time on this than is needed, then think about a plan to get spring cleaning in your apartment. Plan out what needs to be done when, and which rooms need the most attention. What kind of timeline can you plan for the spring cleaning? Start with rooms that are busy and get the most use, and then you can go from there.

Declutter

One of the best ways to start a spring clean is by having a good clear out of all of the items in the apartment. You may be short on storage space as it is, so having a chance to declutter can be such a good idea. It can be a good idea to work on the premise that if you haven’t used it or worn it in over a year, then it is time to say goodbye. Of course, any items that are of good quality could be sold or donated, rather than just thrown out. 

Check what needs to be repaired

After winter, your apartment could need repairs in a few areas. For example, looking at an HVAC repair or a service could be needed after a winter of using it a lot. You might need to repair some cracks in the walls, broken tiles, or other things in the apartment that have endured a lot of wear and tear after the past couple of years. Spring is a good excuse to start afresh with something, so it could be just the reason that you need to get things just as you want them to be.

Assess your cleaning supplies

The last thing that you want to find, when it is time to polish your glass and mirrors, that you are out of glass and mirror polish! If you want to do a deep spring clean, which could be just what your apartment needs, then you need to have the supplies in place to help you to do this. Then you can start to clean anything, as soon as you have the time to do it, rather than being held back because you don’t have the right cleaning products in for the job.

Motivate yourself with a playlist

When it comes to doing the cleaning or the decluttering and organizing, having a playlist ready to go can help you to get in the zone. It can motivate you to get moving, and if you choose something like a podcast, can be some really enjoyable and therapeutic time. Check out my Spotify playlists here

4 Easy Health Hacks to Feel Better Every Day 

We often feel it’ll require so much time, money, and effort to improve our health, well-being, and lifestyle. However, it’s more attainable than we think. With a few simple lifestyle tweaks and adding new habits to your daily routine, you can turn your life around just like magically snapping your fingers and waking up with a smile. Statistics have suggested that over 40 million adults in the US are dealing with some form of health or anxiety disorder, yet the pandemic could worsen the situation. I for one suffer from anxiety, so I try my best to make simple tweaks to feel better daily. Here are some tips that can help keep you healthy and feeling great!

Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep
The need for regular adequate sleep every night cannot be overemphasized. According to the National Sleep Foundation, having a decent amount of restful sleep from anywhere between seven to nine hours each night can sharpen your brain, improve your mood and peak your energy levels. Additionally, having a good rest reduces your insulin level and decreases your stress rate, leaving you with glowing and radiant skin. If you find yourself sleeping less or having trouble getting enough sleep, you may reach out to the doctor or try the tips below;

 

 

  • Create a sleep schedule and stick to it
  • Consider what you eat or drink before heading for bed
  • Create an atmosphere ideal for sleeping 
  • Limit your daytime naps. 

Consume more vegetables
A recent study has proposed a new way to gain more from your food nutrients without the need to put in extra effort; consume your veggies raw. Nutritionists have indicated that some vitamins and minerals are lost during cooking, making an excellent case to consume your veggies when they’re not yet cooked if you can. Meanwhile, some researchers have suggested that consuming vegetables in their natural state can help manage depression. While this isn’t for everybody, there are other ways you can eat your veggies. Why not check out this delicious garlic dip and sauce to take your meal to the next level?

 

 

Burn calories with regular physical activity
The rich benefits of regular physical activity are enormous; from muscle gain and fat burn, the perks of regular exercising goes beyond just the physical benefits. As proposed by the American psychological association, regular exercise effectively boosts your mood, and it has demonstrated a useful technique for managing anxiety, stress, and depression. Aside from its short-term effects, working out has long term effects of leaving you feeling good over an extended period. You can begin with working out 15 minutes every day and just three times each week. 

 

 

Have a positive outlook
After everything happening currently, from job losses, social distancing, and lack of outdoor activity, it may be challenging to keep positive over an extended period with the impending second wave of COVID-19 infection. However, psychologists have advised writing down three positives from every day and how it made you feel. No matter how small they are, write them down. This means you’ll have something positive to feel good about despite everything else that happens during the day. 

 

 

Are you looking to live a healthier, better long life? Then these simple tips, diets, and lifestyle adjustment should get you started.

 

Why You Should Eat More Vegetables

It’s 2021, and let’s be real 2020 was a real doozy. When the new year starts everyone tries to eat healthy, get fit, lose some weight etc. I’ve personally been doing a paleo/whole 30 mix to try to shed a few pounds and get healthier. (*note I know Whole 30 is meant to be for 30 days but I’m just taking a few of the rules and applying them to my life to make it less restrictive so don’t come at me lol)

One of the main things I’ve been doing is adding more vegetables to my meals. Did you know that a vegan diet can help you lose weight? By swapping out unhealthy foods for vegan-friendly or vegetarian meals, you can lower your calorie consumption which is fantastic if you’re looking to lose weight. Vegetables are so low calorie and very nutrient dense. You can eat a lot more vegetables than you can say carbs and still feel full. 

Not only is eating more vegetables good for your body but it’s good for the earth. A plant based diet can help keep the soil clean, conserve water around the world and also cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Diets always seem so restrictive but when you look at it in a different lens you can be more creative. You can try out the best sauteed kale recipes, vegan meat substitutes, and try making your own creations (I highly recommend Pinterest!) They’re healthy, they taste great, and they’ll teach you about unique food combinations that will enhance your cooking.

There are lots of unique breakfast and lunch ideas for a plant based diet that differ drastically from typical diets. There are also thousands of unique dinner recipes that you can try if you want some variety. If you want to add more vegetables into your daily routine, it really starts one meal at a time. 

The Latest Food & Drink Trends – 2020 Edition

Whether you can get out and about, or you have to sample the newest food and drink trends at home, 2020 has undoubtedly been an interesting time. Fortunately, you can check out some of the best food and beverage trends this year has to offer below. Let us know what you think about them! 

Pour over coffee

While there has previously been a great deal of excitement about new-fangled machines that produce the perfect cup of java, both in coffee shops and in the home, the current trend is a little more straightforward. 

Yes, that’s right people are once again embracing pour over coffee. That is coffee made from hot water directly poured over ground beans. The good news is that this type of coffee is not only delicious but super simple to make with either a filter, percolator or french press. 

Of course, taking some time to investigate The Best Coffee Beans for Pour Over will help you make sure that your brew rivals the stuff you will find in your local shop. You may wish to experiment with filters, French press, and different kinds of percolators, too, to see which one suits your taste the best. 

American Brunch 

Stacks of fluffy pancakes dripping with maple syrup and butter, crispy bacon, and flat sausage patties, along with eggs sunny side up, scrambled, or over easy are a major culinary trend right now. 

Yes, that right, American breakfast or brunch is giving The Full English with its fried bread and black pudding a run for its money, and it’s not hard to see why. After all, while the English fry up is an all savory affair, the combination of sweet and salty flavours in its American counterpart make it almost irresistible, especially if you are nursing a hangover from the night before. 

In fact, American brunch is so popular right now that retro-styled diners are popping up all around the UK solely dedicated to the cuisine. The good news is that if you can’t get out and about right now, you can easily whip up your own version.

Sourdough, everything 

Mainly due to the extra time that many of us have on our hands, one of the biggest trends of 2020 has been baking our own bread, Namely sourdough bread. In fact, at the beginning of lockdown, you couldn’t get a bread-making kit for love nor money, they were so popular. 

Of course, the aromatic smell of a baking sourdough combined with the dense bread and chewy crust is truly irresistible and isn’t so hard to DIY either. First of all, you will need to create your own starter and then feed it every few days. Don’t forget to name it suitability either; Clint Yeastwood, the favourite moniker I have come across so far! 

Once you have your starter established, you can then use it as the base of your bread. Although, you can also whip up donuts, pittas, muffins, pretzels, and just about any other baked goods with a delicious sourdough twist. 

 

This post is a collaborative post.

5 Accessories to Spice Up Any Outfit

Adding accessories gives you the chance to express your individuality a little more and be more unique in your styling. Accessories range from the cheap and cheerful to the extravagant and expensive. Depending on the occasion you are arranging your attire for, you will judge the sorts of accessories you can add to your outfits to make them look more incredible. Remember, forget the trends that you spy on the covers of glossy fashion magazines and go for a look that makes you feel confident and allows you to express your personality. You need to play around with your style and enjoy experimenting with fashion. Take a look at these five accessories that will make every outfit look incredible.

Eyewear

It doesn’t matter whether you need prescription glasses or not, the eyewear that you choose can give your outfit a certain vibe. For those summer months, you might be keen to source a couple of pairs of sunglasses that ooze retro styling. If you’re into your vintage look, you might be keen on a classic style cats eye set of frames. Add a touch of tortoiseshell or marble effect tan hue to your frames, and you can enjoy the retro Thelma and Louise look. Couple these shades with a headscarf and flowing day dress, and you could be an extra in the classic girlie road movie.

If you do wear glasses, consider the vibe that you want to create in the office. While contact lenses can be convenient, a pair of glasses can create a fashion style. Small round glasses can make you appear studious and serious. A larger rectangle frame can suit a longer heart-shaped face. And a stunning Ray-Ban style can be a timeless classic. Consider the outfits you wear and pair your eyewear to match.

Jewelry

You don’t have to be heading somewhere formal to enjoy glamming up with some pieces of jewelry. While pearls and diamonds might lend themselves to ballgowns and formal dinners, silver, and white gold can be more of a casual material to adorn your skin. Stud earrings are classic pieces that can brighten up your visage. If you are sentimental keep wearing that pendant or locket with every casual outfit.

If you are into your blazers at work, consider whipping on a brooch every day. You can express your personality through an art deco 1920s vintage brooch or a modern enamel design. Jewelry doesn’t have to be garish or pretentious. If you fancy the yellow gold and the bling – go for it. If you’re into the more subtle look, consider a ring and a matching necklace to brighten up your attire.

Square Toe Heels

For a real timeless classic that never goes out of fashion, shun the wedges or the high heels and opt for something more practical and elegant. Square toe heels hark back to the 1940s and have been adorning the feet of working women for eighty years. With some incredible shoe designers out there, the styles and looks that you can create are neverending. If you love to make a statement with your shoes, go for painted glossy red or pink shoe. If you adore the animal print classics, opt for a leopard print or faux alligator skin pair of heels. Pair these shoes with skinny jeans to enhance a casual daytime outfit, or wear them with pride as you head into the office.

Earrings

It doesn’t matter whether your ears are pierced or not, you can enjoy a whole host of ear fashion to bring a touch of uniqueness to your look. Large gold hoop earrings are currently back on-trend. If you are a millennial and you love the urban fashion look, gold hoop earrings will be the go-to essential to make your outfit achingly cool.

If you are after a more subtle or mature look, earrings range from stud pearls to jewel laden dangle earrings. You could opt for rose gold, yellow gold, or silver as your material of choice depending on the sort of look that you are after. Experiment and adorn your ears with some barbell or huggy earrings. The possibilities are endless.

Bags

If you carry around a whole host of essentials with you wherever you go, the chances are that you will need a bag. If you are after a casual look to head to uni, work, or out and about, a small rucksack can ooze a cool style. Forget the sports backpacks and go for a designer corduroy alternative. If a rucksack is a little too immature for your styling, a handbag will suffice. You must make sure that any bag you choose is fit for purpose. A small clutch bag is great to hold a lipstick, some tissues, and a smartphone, but you won’t fit much more in. Perfect for an evening out and not much more, you need a larger bag for everyday outings.

Beach style bags with large top openings can be the perfect mix of form and function. They can be canvas style, leather, or suede effect, allowing you to add texture and interest to any outfit. Have some hidden side pockets and you can protect your valuables and money when commuting. Pair your bag with your square toe shoes and gold hoop earrings, and you could ooze coolness from your pores.

Accessories allow you to turn your normal everyday attire into something just that little bit more special. Follow this guide and you could have five awesome accessories to make every outfit incredible.

 

5 Foods for Glowing Skin

Regardless of how dedicated you’re to your skincare routine, clear, glowing, and healthy skin begins from within. This means taking the right foods. Fortunately, there are a variety of foods that can help improve the health of your skin. Ideally, you need to focus on foods with specific nutrients that will protect, moisturize, and also heal your skin. From minimizing the fine lines and staying hydrated to banishing the pesky adult breakouts, the secret to maintaining a supple and healthy skin is changing your diet. Read through to find out some of the best foods that will help your skin.

Avocados

Avocados are rich in healthy fats, which have numerous benefits to your body, including improving the health of your skin. Your body needs enough of these fats to help keep your skin moisturized and flexible. In a recent study by Healthline, it was discovered that women who take healthy avocado fats had more supple skin. Also, avocados contain compounds that can help protect your skin from harmful UV rays that cause wrinkles.

Avocados are a good source of vitamin E, which is more effective in protecting your skin when combined with vitamin C. Avocados also contain vitamin C, which helps your skin create collagen, a protein that keeps your skin healthy and strong. Additionally, vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your skin from oxidative damage, which causes signs of aging.

Citrus fruits

As you now know, vitamin C is important to your skin. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits contain vitamin C, which can give your skin a radiant glow. In fact, citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C. According to CNN, people who consume high amounts of citrus have fewer wrinkles.

Fatty fish

Some of the common fatty fish include herring, salmon, and mackerel, which can help keep your skin supple and healthy. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for keeping your skin healthy. The omega-3 fatty acids keep the skin thick and well-moisturized. What’s more, oily fish reduce inflammation, which is the main cause of acne and skin redness.

Get the best sushi knives to help extract fish oil from fatty fish. According to NCBI, fish oil helps fight autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that may be affecting your skin, such as lupus and psoriasis. Fatty fish is also rich in vitamin E, which is an essential antioxidant. Vitamin E is also vital in protecting your skin against damage caused by free radicals.

Carrots

Carrots are crunchy and rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A plays an essential role in cellular collagen production to help protect and heal damaged skin.

Tomatoes

Cooked tomatoes are considered as the fountain of youth. They contain high amounts of the antioxidant lycopene, which is important in your body to fight against damage to your skin by harmful UV rays.

While maintaining a skincare routine is important, you will also need nutritious foods to improve your skin health. An unhealthy diet will cause weight gain, damage your metabolism, and damage organs like the liver and skin. Therefore, take the first step to protect your skin by eating the best foods. Also, remember to keep your skin hydrated by drinking enough water.

 

Why Smoothies Are The Best for Busy Days

Are you a smoothie lover like me? Smoothies are so great for a variety of reasons. The first is, obviously, how healthy they are. You would never sit down to eat five apples, two bananas, and a bag of kale in one sitting. But when you can drink all those goodies in the form of a slightly sweet beverage, it suddenly becomes way more doable. People rely on smoothies for their dietary five-a-day. 

The second reason is convenience. When people want something nutritious in the morning before work, they don’t want to spend their precious time in front of the oven. Instead, they want to whip up something quick. Smoothies are the ideal food in this regard. You place the ingredients in the blender and there you go.

Another reason for their success is the fact that smoothies are highly Instagrammable. You don’t even need to be a particularly good photographer to share your creations. Their vibrant colors do most of the work for you. Smoothies, though, are more than just a passing trend. Here are some of the reasons they could be your ticket to a yummier you. 

They Release Nutrients

Getting all of the nutrients out of a bunch of kale is difficult for your body. First, it has to separate it into manageable chunks. Then it has to break down the cell wall to get hold of the goodies inside. Cooking makes this process slightly easier, but nothing quite compares it smashing it to bits in a blender. Speaking of which, we really like this Vitamix that is reviewed here. High power gives it extra clout. 

As the blades spin, they chop through the cell walls, allowing all of the plant’s nutritious contents to gush out in an orgy of goodness. More of the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals get into your body, helping to support your health. 

They Change Your Taste Buds

When you first start off, you might start with an all fruit smoothie. These are typically the most popular and tastes the best because of the sugar in the fruit. As you start having smoothies more often, you might want to start adding in more green veggies. I love adding in spinach, kale, cucumbers, ginger and carrots.

The change in your tastebuds is just a natural process. Your brain gets used to all the weird chemicals that give plants their flavor and eventually starts to enjoy them. Drinking a smoothie feels less like taking medicine and more like sipping on a cocktail by the pool by week ten. 

They Increase Your Energy

Finally, smoothies make you feel more energetic for the whole day. When you give your body the nutrition it wants, you feel your best, and therefore, are your best. 

What is your favorite smoothie flavors? Let me know in the comments below!

4 Benefits of Going Gluten-Free

If you’ve ever thought about embracing a gluten-free diet, there are compelling reasons to do so. I haven’t fully changed my diet into being completely gluten-free but it’s something I try to be mindful of. The health-related benefits below are ones you might not have thought of before. Let’s start by defining gluten and then move onto the perks of doing so.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a general term for a group of proteins that are found in a variety of cereal grains. It occurs naturally in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale.

What is its purpose? The primary function of gluten is to hold foods together, so they keep their shape.

Here are some benefits of going gluten-free.

Eat more fruits and veggies.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. As you’re not able to eat certain foods now that you’re on this new eating plan, you’re more likely to reach for those healthy foods.

That’s good news given the many vitamins and minerals in them. They contain nutrients to help you stay healthy. For example, kale and carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, while strawberries and papayas are high in vitamin C. Apples and bananas are great sources of iron.

You might exercise more.

When switching to a gluten-free diet, you might notice a dip in your energy levels, which is why it’s important to eat right and exercise regularly. Doing so will help you to feel at your best at work and in your personal life.

If you needed incentive to workout more, then this is it. You’ll be more likely to do so now and staying active is easier when you choose an activity that you enjoy, whether it is walking, swimming, or something else.

Knowledge is power.

You have knowledge of what foods can negatively impact your health when you enjoy a gluten-free lifestyle. Before buying items, you’ll be looking at food labels and understanding how to read them, including how ingredient lists start with the most prominent item first.

Some items that you will discover may contain gluten will surprise you. For example, seasonings, sauces, and malted milk can all be sources of gluten.

Delicious food awaits you.

You will also soon realize that there are great gluten free recipes. Cooking yummy meals is not something you have to give up forever! Instead, you will understand how to enhance natural flavors using gluten-free spices to make tasty dishes.

Experimenting in the kitchen can be a lot of fun. You can even pick up soy flour to bread your chicken for dinner tonight.

Have you guys ever tried going gluten-free? If so, I would love to hear your experience in the comments below!

I Rebranded My Boutique + Launched Etsy! Say Hi to Something Social

something social

As some of you may know, I own an online boutique. I just went through a major rebranding. Formerly known as John + Suki, my shop is now called Something Social. 

I’m SO excited by this rebranding. Shoutout to my friend Cam who helped me create the awesome logo! I also gave the website a facelift and changed things around. Our IG also is now @shopsomethingsocial so if you’re not already following it, go give it a follow!

 

On top of this, I created a brand new Etsy shop! Shop Something Social on Etsy will be for all graphic items. This is just a fun spot for me to express my creativity and create some fun items for you guys. If you have any sayings you want on a shirt – let me know, I would love to create it for you!

Feel free to check both Something Social and Something Social on Etsy out! I would love your feedback and support 🙂