How to Impress Your Friends with a Super Summer Soiree

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Now that we are right in the thick of the glorious summer season there is no wonder people are looking happier and feeling extra sociable. The summer months certainly tend to bring out the best in us as we enjoy the most social time of the year.

 

So why not take advantage of the warmer weather and host a special evening at your home? If you are a dab-hand at hosting then why not consider throwing a fabulous summer soiree in your garden? What better way to celebrate the summer than to organize a fabulous evening with your friends enjoying your garden and some fantastic food? Follow our simple tips below on how to organize and prepare a wonderful summer evening in your garden to entertain your friends and enjoy a fabulous summer get together out in the fresh air.  

 

Do The Invitations Properly

 

Nowadays, we tend to be quite relaxed when it comes to inviting people to our homes for dinner parties and get-togethers, so why not be a little different this time. Forget the standard quick phone call or brief SMS and start the evening as you mean to go on by sending an invitation that gets your guests excited. Have a little fun inviting your friends and make your garden party a glamorous affair by sending out stylish and chic invitations

 

A good way to do this is by sending out E-vites. Online E-vites are a great way to make invitations feel a little more official and they are a good way to make your guests feel that you are really going to town and organizing a super special night. Perhaps you want to do something extra fun and create a themed night, or maybe you want to organize a fancy dress party and you want your guests to follow a certain dress code. Whatever your ideas, think about the details that can make your garden party just that little bit special and different to just a standard dinner party and then incorporate that into your e-vite so people can really start to get excited about a great night ahead.

 

Organizing your Garden

 

Once you have established how many people are coming you will then need to make sure that your garden is looking absolutely fantastic. You should section off a good afternoon to focus on de-weeding, deadheading your plants and sorting out all the shrubs and flowers in your garden. You should be looking at all the plants in your garden and making sure they look in peak condition and your lawn is mowed so the grass is looking pristine and neat.

 

After all the plants and flowers have been taken care of you will then want to turn your attention to your outdoor furniture. You will need to wash down your furniture until it sparkles and then looks at organizing your outdoor furniture in a way that best shows off your patio and seating area. Depending on the amount of people you are expecting you may need to bring out extra tables and chairs for your guests so think about the other areas of the house where you can grab additional seats and tables, or you could even think about borrowing or hiring these for a day if you are expecting a lot of guests.

 

Food with a Summer Twist

 

OK, so your garden is now looking fantastic, it is now time to start thinking about the all important food that you want to impress your guests with. Perhaps you want to put on a relaxed BBQ, with a variety of fresh salads and little nibbles. Or maybe you want to try and do something a little bit different.

 

Why not treat your guests to a delicious seafood feast? Seafood is a fantastic choice in the summer as it is light, fresh, reminds us of the sea and is just that step up from a standard summer BBQ. With so many wonderful seafood recipes online, you will want to put in ample research into the types of dishes that you would like to create. So once you know what you want to create go to your local fishmongers and pick out a range of their best shellfish, their finest fishes like salmon, trouts and monkfish depending on the dishes you want to create. Make sure that you don’t buy the fish until the day of the party itself as you will want to shellfish and fish to be as fresh as possible.

 

Presentation

 

Foods like oysters, lobster and cockles are great to present on a bed of ice and lemon so think about presenting these types of fish in a really simple way. If you think your guests would prefer their fish in the form of a great Spanish Paella then you will need to buy a large Paella dish to cook the rice and the fish in together. You can then simply serve this dish up in the pan and your guests can help themselves straight from the pan.

 

Or perhaps you fancy trying your hand at a delicious seafood linguini or risotto. In which case you can serve a dish like this with gorgeous crunchy bread and a light Mediterranean salad. So jump online and look at the type of recipes you would like to create to really wow your guests and treat them to a lip-smackingly scrumptious seafood feast.

 

It is also important to think about the wine pairings that you want to create if you are doing seafood. White wine is obviously the best option to go with fish, but there are certain white wines that work particularly well with certain types of fish. Therefore if you are uncertain about the best types of wine to get, then visit your local wine merchant, tell him what you are planning to cook and let him guide you through the best wines to match your menu.

 

Creating a super summer soiree is all in the little details. Creating a unique, fresh and summery dinner will definitely make your guests feel that you are treating them to a fabulous dining experience. Enjoying your great food in your beautiful looking garden, on a balmy summer’s evenings with your friends. What could be better?

 

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5 Amazing Family Experiences To Embrace This Summer

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Summer is officially here. People are wearing shorts and sandals, people are complaining about how hard it is to sleep at night and some people are already wearing sunburned sleeves. Oh, yeah, summer is well and truly here and we absolutely love it. The days are long, the kids are outside, the smell of barbecues fill the air and people are just in such high spirits.

However, for all the amazing wonder that arrives with the first days of summer, after about a week, almost all parents suddenly find themselves sweating a little bit because they’ve already run out of things to do with the kids. It happens every year.

Luckily for you, we anticipated this and came up with a summer vacation bucket list to help you keep your kids entertained and happy right the way through. We hope it helps.

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  1. Camping Trip

The chance to go camping as a family doesn’t come around often enough, so the summer weather should definitely be utilized as a chance to break out the tents, buy too many marshmallows and get your outdoor cooking expertise down to a tee. First off, it is the ideal way to have budget-friendly fun and, secondly, it is just one of the most amazing family memories you can make.

  1. Home Makeover

There is no better time to get stuck into some home improvements than when the sun is out and the kids are off school. It is one of those activities that can be super fun and super practical, as this guide shows. Get your kids on the paintbrushes, move some furniture around and just do whatever you need to do to make your home beautiful again, and do it as a family.

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  1. Backyard Garden

Planting your own little garden comes with so many added bonuses. Not only will it teach your kids some vital skills and reduce your family’s carbon footprint, but food from the garden just tastes so much better when you have grown it with love. Fresh food is simply unbeatable. It’s delicious, nutritious and cost-effective too.

  1. Zoo Time

The zoo is one of those places that you can visit and revisit and it never gets boring, a lot of the time because there is too much to do in just one day. Lions, tigers, rare monkeys, elephants, and just about every almost-mythical animal you can possibly imagine. The other great thing is, you can visit different zoos. Start local and then branch out.

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  1. Outdoor Movies

Kids aren’t impressed by films like we used to be impressed by films. Nowadays it is a matter of going on Netflix and watching something at the click of a button. It’s not an experience like going into town on a Friday night, visiting the local video store, studying the shelves, picking two or three films to rent out and enjoying a movie night. So, why not make movie night an experience by taking your kids, even your toddler, to an outdoor movie, getting tons of popcorn and watch as they have their minds blown a little.

Tips For A Budget-Friendly Summer

Summer has a way of making us feel carefree; we happily spend more money on treats, family outings, or activities for the kids, only to check our balance in September and realise that we might have taken too much out of the savings account. While it’s true that you can’t put a price on the memories you make with your family, you do still need to have enough put away to make more memories in the future. If you’d like to have your cake and eat it too, here are a few tips so you can have the best summer ever on the lowest budget possible.

Cheap vacations

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It’s tempting to opt for a staycation each summer because this is when flights are usually their most expensive, and you don’t often know if there’s enough in the budget to book in advance. Fortunately, you can still take the family somewhere exotic with a few money-saving hacks. Flights tend to be more expensive from Friday to Sunday because most people want to make the most of the weekend in a foreign country. Since you have the whole summer holiday to choose from, try to book a flight that leaves in the middle of the week to save a few dollars. You can also save if you aim to travel the week before the kids go back to school, as this is when prices might start to drop. Websites such as Skyscanner can help you compare flight prices across a whole month so you’ll know the cheapest days to fly, saving you a potential packet. Going all-inclusive can save you more money, especially if you take full advantage of the breakfast buffets and the hotel swimming pool. Spanish destinations such as Majorca and Tenerife, or Algarve in Portugal, are always a hit with families, so these are good places to start looking for an all-inclusive vacation.

Camping

The great outdoors can be just as engaging as a games console, and it’s usually free. Although some campsite will charge you to pitch your tent, there’s no cost for sleeping in the back garden with your younger kids, or out in the woods with more mature children. Brush up on some simple survival skills and teach them how to survive in the wild, introduce them to the simple thrill of climbing trees, see who can spot the most species of birds, and in the evening you can show them how to make perfect s’mores over the campfire. Not only does this experience get everyone out of their comfort zone and encourage the kids to work together to put up the tent and start a fire, but it will help them appreciate the things they take for granted at home; hot showers and indoor plumbing seems like a luxury after a weekend in the woods. Most importantly, however, spending time outdoors will teach children how to respect nature and the environment.

Rent out your house

You don’t need to have a second home or spare room to make money from a lodger. If you’re planning on spending a few weeks away, and you live in a popular area, you could make some extra money by renting out your house to other holidaymakers. You can sign up to be a host on Airbnb, put out feelers with friends, or by making a website advertising your house to people looking for nice accommodation for their vacation.

Packing for vacations

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Hard as it may be to admit, your little ones aren’t as little as they were last year, and all their clothes from the previous summer no longer fit. Before you start packing for your vacation, you need to make sure you have enough summer clothes that fit them comfortably, not to mention all the other summer essentials you need to buy like sunscreen, allergy medication, and travel sized toiletries. To make sure you still have enough left for vacation spending money, you can go to the stores armed with discounts from Coupon Sherpa and make substantial savings on clothes and other items. It might require you to do a little legwork and shopping at several different stores, but it’s worth it just to save a few dollars.

Active family

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If you’ve been trying to find a way to motivate yourself to do more exercise, there is no bigger encouragement than your children; not just because you want to be healthy, but because they will drive you crazy when they start climbing the walls with boredom and the only solution is to get everyone out of the house. If you have fairly young children, take them to the park and actually play with them; run around to catch them on the slide, push them on the swings, or try getting involved in their game of tag. With slightly older kids, you could get everyone on their bikes and ride down the coast, whip out the water pistols and having an all-out war, or check your local area and see if there are any events that will get them walking. If you show your children the value of getting out of the house and having a good time, they may never catch on that you’re doing this for the exercise.

Rainy day fun

Despite all your best efforts to get the kids away from the electronic devices and out into the fresh air, sometimes the weather will conspire against you. Fortunately, you can still find ways to keep the kids busy without the lure of technology. One way to keep the kids occupied is by teaching them how to cook. Your options are endless; you can have them help you make the family’s favourite dinner, you can choose a new recipe to try together, or you can teach them how to make a really easy dish so they can begin building their cooking skills. If you have them help you with dinner, be sure to compliment them on their contribution and watch their little faces light up with pride.

5 Positive Changes You Can Make to Your Home This Summer

Now that summer is here, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about how you can make positive changes to your home. There is no need to accept your home as it is if you don’t think that it’s currently up to scratch. And sometimes the summer months simply call for a new approach and a fresh look. Here are 5 positive changes you can make right away.

 

  1. Change the Art in Your Home

 

If you have any art hanging on the walls in your home, now might be a good time to switch them around. This is something that many people do. They have art that corresponds to the time of the year. If you look at your art and see it as being wintery or for a colder time of year, take those works of art down. They can be replaced with lighter and airier feeling works of art. It’s a simple change that will make a big difference.

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  1. Paint the Ceilings White

 

The ceilings are of your home are probably one of its most neglected aspects. This is the case in many homes all over the country. If you want to make your home to feel brighter, lighter and even more spacious, you should think about painting them white. It has a huge difference and changes how we perceive the space. And it’s perfect for summer because all that summer light will make the space feel even larger still.

 

  1. Install Solar Panels

 

Solar panels are perfect for your home because they not only reduce your carbon footprint, but also reduce your monthly expenditure. You can save a lot of money by embracing renewables and ditching the companies that charge you too much for unclean energy and power. It’s possible to take advantage of free solar energy analysis, so go for it. The help you need in order to save money and go green is out there waiting for you.

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  1. Ditch Heavy Curtains for Light Blinds

 

Big, heavy curtains draped across your windows is not what you want during the summer months. They’re too cumbersome, and they can block natural light at the edge of the window even when they’re not drawn. So, take them down and replace them with small, light blinds. They can easily be pulled up to maximise the light coming into a room. And on top of that, you will have much more control over how much light you let in, which can’t be done with curtains.

 

  1. Invest in Indoor Plants

 

Indoor plants can be great additions to your home during summer. It allows you to bring the outdoors indoors. And that means your home will feel more alive, more pleasant and, of course, much greener. Those things are all positive. And it’s known that indoor plants can even improve your mood and make the air inside your home a little cleaner too, so why not go for it? It could be just what your home needs right now.

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