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. 

How to Stay Sane During Quarantine

We’re at a strange point in time right now. It’s fair to say that the world is a much different place than it was a month ago, there’s not a corner of the earth that hasn’t been affected by the recent pandemic. Whether you’re on formal quarantine or lock down or are just choosing to self isolate, being at home can feel a little tedious after a while and can increase anxiety when you’re sitting around with too much time on your hands. If you can, see this as ‘downtime’, try and make the most of a bad situation and aim to do fun and productive things where possible to make yourself feel better. The only thing we can do now is to try to make the most of this situation, so here are some ideas to make your day a little better.

Have a spa day

Chances are you have tons of spa products in the house. If you’re like me you probably have them in your cabinet but totally forgot about it. But now is the perfect time to get them out- bath bombs, bubble bath, oils, hair and face mask, foot masks. Spend some time really pampering yourself, get a hot bath and relax with music and candles, treat your hair and skin and paint your nails. On a normal day you probably don’t get the time to do all of this, so why not make the most of it? Not only will it make you feel better physically but it can reduce stress and make you feel better mentally too. If you and your partner are isolated together you could even give each other massages and turn your home into a mini spa for the day. 

Try some new makeup looks

Playing around with makeup can be a lot of fun, but again it might not be something you get the time to sit and do that often. If you have a lot of products, get them out, fall in love with different things again and follow along with some makeup tutorials on Youtube. You might be all dressed up with nowhere to go, but you could snap some photos for your blog, Instagram channel or just for a new Facebook profile picture. You could get really creative and try things you wouldn’t normally do, just because you have the means to do so and the time on your hands! Have fun with it, you can always just wash it off if it goes wrong so don’t worry about trying to get it perfect on the first attempt. I did this the other day, as seen in the photo above. I saw a photo that Kathleen Lights posted on IG and tried to recreate it, let me know what you think in the comments below!

Do some online shopping

Online shopping has become a real lifeline during these times. You can continue to support business by ordering from them and having goods shipped to your door. Just be aware of social distancing when your deliveries arrive, leave a note asking for things to be left on your doorstep or just call through the door so you don’t need to come in contact with people unnecessarily. Maybe some new summer dresses will cheer you up (hopefully we’ll be over the worst of this madness by then) or perhaps you could order some homeware items and have fun redecorating and decluttering a room in your home. You could treat yourself to something that will cheer you up, get materials for a project or buy something you need but have been putting off for a while. If deliveries are still going ahead in your area then do continue to buy as it helps the economy in these difficult times. 

Also don’t forget to shop my boutique John and Suki! Use code SHOP20 for 20% off any item.

Organize your closet

This is something I need to do that I’ve been putting off. Take everything out and put what you won’t wear into boxes labeled donate as it can help to make decisions easier. Put back what you want to keep, and pass along the other items when you get the opportunity after you’re out of self isolation or quarantine. Having a thinned out wardrobe can actually give you more clothing and outfit options as you can see exactly what you have, and you’ve only kept things that fit you and that you like. No more rummaging through items you don’t want or need. 

Write some blog posts (or start a blog)

Blogging is one of the best hobbies you can have. It’s fun, it’s productive and there are lots of ways to earn money later down the line. If you already have a blog, now is the time to create some great content for it. You could review products you’ve been loving, take outfit photos, write a diary of your thoughts or give tips and advice to others. If you don’t have a blog then what better time to start one? It will likely take you a few hours to get set up, think of a blog name and open an account on blogger or wordpress. Buy a template off Etsy to make it look nice, and purchase a domain name to link to your blog. From there you can open an email address and new social media pages linking to your site. Once all of that is done, you’re free to start creating content and networking with other bloggers. Since it’s this starting point that takes the time, it’s a great opportunity now that you have the time to get it up and running. From there you could just post once or twice a week if you wanted to and enjoy this hobby for many years to come.

How will you be staying sane at the moment? Leave your tips in the comments below!

 

How To Get Your Creative Projects Started!

Ever wanted to get started on a creative project? And yet, for some reason, doing so can be such a hard process. You may feel overwhelmed even by the first steps, or maybe you’re confused and unsure of how to start. Thankfully, this is something you can grow and develop out of, but for those just getting started, getting started is a scary process.

So, finding measures to help kickstart your goals in this capacity can be a truly worthwhile venture. Here is how to get started:

Just Start
It sounds so simple. But sooner or later, you’re going to have to start this practice in the scope that makes the most difference to you. You cannot evade step one. As Lao Tzu said, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Just start. If you wish to be a writer, start writing something in a note taking application, even if it’s absolutely terrible. If you want to paint, buy some paints and try to paint something. If you want to sing, sing to your favorite songs and take up classes. You will tell yourself one thousand reasons as to why you aren’t ready just yet, and then by the time you’ve settled all of those you’ll tell yourself one thousand more. 

The only step forward is to begin, even if you’re far from perfect, you’ll get there. Consider the term ‘writer’. Is a writer someone who writes for an online content company as a subcontractor? Is it an author? Is it someone who has written the best stand up comedy to live life as a professional? Yes, but  it’s also just someone who writes. That is all you need to get started.

Get Your Ideas Down
Getting your ideas down on paper is the most important step. You might have a great idea strike you while you’re brushing your teeth, and then if you fail to note it down, or draw it, or use a mind map, or scrapbook stickers to keep yourself within this creative output, getting your ideas down is going to be a troubling issue.

Develop An Understanding
Learn from those who have developed a project you care about before. Study the greats, or those within your peer group. Join writing groups. Care for the craft, because you need to learn the rules before you subvert them. If you can do this, you are sure to develop the correct understanding to help guide your action towards skill.

Alright, now go get started! 

How To Find The Perfect Apartment

cdn.frontdoorMy lease is coming to an end and my friend Becca and I have been searching for the PERFECT apartment to move into. With the help of some friends and Google, we’ve been able to view and apply to some really amazing places. Summer is usually the most popular time for people to be moving, so I decided to put together a guide for apartment hunting. Whether you are in California like myself, or anywhere else in the US, here are some helpful tips when looking for the perfect apartment.

1. Give yourself time. There is nothing worse than feeling rushed to find an apartment. Start doing your research about a month before you are planning to move. Figure out what it is exactly that you are looking for and set a budget.

2. Google is your friend.  There are tons of websites that are dedicated to finding an apartment. Here are some of my favorite ones: Zillow, Padmapper, Trulia, Apartment Finder, Craigslist.

3. Check your credit score. Having a good credit score is extremely important. Usually the first thing a landlord will do is check your credit score. I’ve heard horror stories of people getting denied from apartments due to their credit score. Having a good credit score proves to prospective landlords that you are responsible. Pay off those bills in time!

4. Visit as many places as possible.  Don’t rely solely on pictures. Actually go and check out a place. A place might look trashy in photos but really stunning in person, or vice versa. If you absolutely can not go visit a place for whatever reason, email the landlord and ask for more pictures. The more information you have the better.

5. Fill out an application. Once you find your dream apartment, apply. And do it in a timely matter. A lot of places are first come first served. So fill out an application as soon as you know that is the apartment that you want.

6. Don’t stress. If you don’t get your first apartment choice, there are others. There is usually a lot of turnover in apartments, so just keep looking. Eventually you will find the perfect apartment, trust me it’s out there!

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