Get the Right Light for Outdoor Entertaining

OutdoorLivingLightingSummer is in full swing, but there’s still time to plan a relaxing staycation or backyard soiree while the evenings are warm and clear. To make the most of your family and friends time, look around your outdoor space to see if the existing lighting works properly and enhances the ambiance.

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), a few updates to your outside lighting can make your alfresco time more enjoyable. And the best part? It doesn’t have to be time consuming or costly to transform your existing patio, deck or pool area into a lovely retreat.

Accessories That Are Easy, Convenient and Portable

HandyAccessoriesSome of your favorite accessories are the ones you reach for again and again, those items that are portable, easy, and convenient. When shopping for accessories for everyday use, special events, or travel, several factors stand out. The following tips will help you identify accessories that will make your life easier.

    • Easy. Ease of use is a top consideration in everyone’s favorite, go-to accessories. Be it a wallet with just the right number of slots, a purse with pockets in just the right place, or a smartphone case that doubles as an ID holder, the right accessories make your life easier. If you’re a smokeless tobacco user, a portable spittoon that can be open and shut with one hand makes it easy to enjoy smokeless tobacco on the go. The portable spittoon from Atlanta-based FLASR features a one-hand operational design for ease of use.

Lighting Your Landscape Like the Pros

LandscapeLightUpCThe deck is swept and ready for summer barbecues, the lawn is freshly mowed, and the outdoor furniture is dusted off. In short, the stage is set for cookouts, family gatherings and entertaining late-night porch hangouts. But don’t get left in the dark.

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), proper outdoor lighting is just as important for a beautiful landscape as a lush lawn, bright flowerbeds, green plants and manicured shrubs.

Jeff Dross, corporate director of lighting education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, recently explained that homeowners are opening up to new ideas with landscape lighting.

Chew on This: Portable Spittoons Make It Easy to Be Outdoors This Summer

SummerHeatSummertime means lazy days, barbecues, baseball games and time at the beach or pool. In short, outdoor activities are plentiful and frequent, but for the 9 million smokeless tobacco users, they can present a quandary.

One of the problems for smokeless tobacco users is the unsightly, telltale “spit cup.” For one, it can make other people uneasy seeing a clear bottle sitting in a car, by a beach chair or on the deck in the backyard. Carrying a large chewing tobacco spittoon doesn’t seem to be a better option either, nor does using a dip cup, which could spill and make a mess that can be difficult to clean up, depending on where the spill occurs.

It’s All About That Bass — Fishing, That Is

TheAllAboutBassC days of seeing someone walking down a road with a stick, some string and a bucket of worms  are as much a part of American culture as hot dogs, baseball and warm apple pie. Since that time, anglers now have many choices this summer, depending on where they’ll be fishing.

While selecting your gear is half the fun, set aside the rods, reels, jigs, rigs and tackle box, and don’t forget these equally important, but oft-overlooked items:

What Goes Great With Barbecue and Wine This Memorial Day? Patriotism

MemorialDayPatriotism_SOCTo many people, Memorial Day weekend means family, barbecuing and a long three-day weekend. But quite often, little thought is given to the actual meaning of the day—celebrating service members who are fighting or have fought for our freedom.

This year, however, one company is seeking to make a difference for military personnel by joining forces with Operation Homefront, a San Antonio-based non-profit organization that supplies financial and emotional support for the spouses and families of soldiers deployed overseas.

Staying or Going, Tech Advice to Relax This Summer

When summer fun calls, it’s nice to be able to answer without any worries or stresses eating at you. Whether it’s a day at the pool, an afternoon at the lake or a trip to a new exciting destination, relaxation is key. And despite the common mindset to “unplug,” technology can actually help.

Use the following tech tips to welcome a relaxing yet fun-filled summer season.

How to Sweeten Up Father’s Day With a Splash of Watermelon

Honor Dad with a healthy dose of creativity and sweet treats this Father’s Day.

These two ideas, courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board (www.watermelon.org), are guaranteed home runs. First, an eye-catching basket shaped like a golf ball (made from the watermelon rind) filled with sweet watermelon balls to celebrate his favorite hobby. Second, a tangy, finger-licking chicken wing glaze for Dad to enjoy—and hopefully share!—during his special day.

Golf Ball Watermelon Carving
Materials:
1 small-medium very round seedless watermelon
Kitchen knife, paring knife
Cutting board, large bowl
Melon baller

Grill Up a Heart-Healthy Meal With Tasty Veggie Sliders

Grilling season is here, and there is an easy way to put a healthy twist on your summertime cookouts – without sacrificing taste.

For a healthy alternative to the American grilling classic, the burger, consider adding unique ingredients such as California Raisins to add flavor and nutrition.

A good source of potassium and fiber, raisins are an all-natural, no-sugar-added ingredient and are fat- and cholesterol-free. As if that weren’t enough, raisins may support heart health according to new research.

A study at the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Center suggests that eating raisins three times daily may significantly lower blood pressure for adults with prehypertension.