Entertaining Essentials: How To Make Your Events Even Better

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When you’re someone that loves to entertain, you probably want to make sure that you’re able to do really well with all of your events that you host. You never want to have to put on a dirty party or an afternoon gathering and wonder if it’s going to go okay. Because then the anxiety of the situation is going to spoil it for you. So, in order to make sure that every time you entertain, it’s going to be great, you need to have all of the essentials in line. Whether you’re throwing a summer party soon or you just want to make sure that you’re ready for the next events coming up, then you’re going to want to take note of these five points.

 

  1. Get Your Servingware Together

 

So first of all, you’re going to want to make sure that you have all of the servingware that you need. Because there’s nothing like planning a party and then having to rush out and add to your supplies. So don’t wait until you have to do it – because then you may be limited on what’s actually available. You may want to think about getting out to your favorite stores and seeing which plates or cutlery or other items you can add to your collection ready for when you next entertain.

 

  1. Set The Atmosphere Well

 

Next up, you’re going to want to nail the atmosphere. Because every even needs to have the right atmosphere going on around it. So, here, you could take a look at the best indoor outdoor thermometer to help you see if you need to make adjustments. Then you’re also going to want to make sure that you have the right candles or lighting to help you adjust things as the day or evening goes on.

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  1. Get Centerpiece Inspiration

 

Then, you’re going to want to figure out what kind of centerpieces that you can go for whenever you’re doing a dinner party. Again, you don’t want to feel rushed all of the time. So collate images on Pinterest or clip cuttings to help you feel really inspired for your next event.

 

  1. Mix Up Your Recipes & Refreshments

 

When it comes to what you’re serving, you should then look to mix up the recipes that you try out for parties too. Why not enjoy making different meals and trying out refreshments throughout the week and then saving your favorites to your entertaining roster.

 

  1. Choose The Entertainment Wisely

 

And the last thing that you may want to think about, is the entertainment. Now, not everyone will want to go with any entertainment, but even the kind of music that you’re playing can really add to the event or dinner. But if you do want to go with the full service and choose entertainment that suits your theme, then look into new dinner party game ideas, or other different ideas for fun, such as live acts. As we all know that this can take things up a notch!

 

Welcome Home: Making Your Property as Inviting as Possible

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Home is the best place in the world- going out and having adventures is great, but there’s nothing quite like coming home and getting into your own bed at the end of it. If you’ve had a rough day at work or something in life isn’t going your way, home is a place to rest, relax and recuperate and it should always feel like the safest and cosiest place in the world. If your home isn’t up to scratch or you dread coming back because it’s in need of work doing, don’t put this off. We all deserve a place where we feel truly happy and comfortable, and by investing in your home you’re investing in yourself. Here are some of the ways you can make it more inviting, both for guests and for yourself!

 

Know where to spend money

Kitting out a home from scratch can be costly, and so buying everything brand new and high end won’t be an option for everyone. There are plenty of places you can make savings- wooden furniture can often be found for cheap or free and be recycled to your own specifications. There are lots of bargains on places like ebay, and you can buy homewares in supermarkets and even pound shops without spending much at all. However it’s worth knowing where to spend the money. Your sofa and mattress are both big purchases where you should consider spending more- these will stand the test of time and stay comfier for longer. A good dining table is another investment, as is things like high quality lined curtains. These will look sumptuous while keeping out light and draughts- something cheaper curtains will struggle to do. If you make savings in some areas and splash out in others you can create a home that fits within your budget and works for you.

 

Make it light, airy and spacious

We might not all live in enormous homes, but we can make the most of the space we have to make it feel light and pleasant. Get as much light in as possible coming in, you could look into replacement window ideas or just switch up the curtains or blinds you currently have up. Strip off fussy, patterned wallpaper and get rid of bold colours- and paint your walls in a light neutral instead. This will bounce the light around, and create a perfect blank canvas for everything else you have in your rooms. You could always add colour and personality with your furnishings and accessories, but by keeping the walls plain and light you make any space look classy as well as giving the appearance that it’s more spacious than it is. This works for large and small rooms, and for any room in the home.

 

Find the right storage

Clutter and mess can quickly bring down the look of a home. It’s easy to accumulate, at the end of the day we don’t live in show homes and our properties are a place for us to come and go, take things, leave things and over the week it can start looking untidy. One way to combat this is to find the right storage, systems that work so that everything has a place. From coat hooks and shoe racks in your downstairs cupboard to toy storage in the living room. Ottomans work well for this, not only do they look and function like a regular piece of furniture but the hollow inside makes a great place to stash away toys that kids leave strewn in the living room. In the bedroom, make sure you have a drawer or cupboard for everything that needs to be put away, things like drawer dividers, storage bins and baskets all work well for keeping smaller items separate and organised.

 

Make it personal

The trick to making a home personal is to find the balance. You want to go with quality over quantity, choose pieces that are meaningful and reflect you without adding lots of clutter. Some framed photos, candles, a vase of flowers, living plants and decorative ornaments from your travels are all examples of things you could add. It makes the place look homely, welcoming and inviting but without adding lots of fussy clutter. One tip is to only display items that are bigger than a grapefruit since other things can look messy and lost. You could also group similar items together or a tray and display this on a sideboard or coffee table.

 

7 Things Your Teenager Wants You To Know

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Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, nestled in pretty ambiguous, murky and undefined time in a person’s life, is teenagehood. It’s something all parents get warned about, usually through whispers and little-dropped hints, each of them delivered by grey-haired parents with more lifelines than an old avocado. But for teenager’s, it’s something even worse entirely.

 

It’s one of the most confusing stretches of time they will ever get slapped with, where their bodies are changing, their mindset has to adapt and they fast have to make the transition from being your baby to being their own person, able to navigate the world on their own two feet, and that requires a certain understanding from you.

 

There is no parental roadmap to help guide you. There is no blueprint that explains the best way you can do right by your teenage kids. There is no step-by-step guide that you can study while helping your once tiny offspring grow up. But there are a few things your teenage kids want you to know that will help them out big time. And, no, we’re not making these up. We’re taking these from Reddit posts and directly from the source, meaning you can trust they are feelings all teenagers share.  

 

So, without further ado, here are some things every teenager wishes their parent knew about them:

 

  1. The Disappointing You Thing Sucks

No teen sets out to purposely disappoint their parents, but sometimes they do, and they know they do. Yes, you warned them that doing such and such would be a mistake and that you could guarantee this would happen because you did the same thing, but teens need to learn on their own accord too. They want to please and avoid disappointing you, but they are only human, and one’s learning hard and fast at that, so no matter how they might respond after doing something “disappointing”, know it crushes their spirit too.

 

  1. Don’t Read Their Journals-Slash-Diaries

As parents, we all want to better understand out teenagers, especially when you’re butting heads with one another and communication has fallen by the wayside. But, please, if they keep a journal or diary or somewhere to jot their swirling and whirling thoughts, refrain from picking it up and reading it. They may not be telling you something right now, but they will eventually, in their own time, when they have figured out exactly what they want to say. In the meantime, it’s your job to just be their friend and support them no matter what. Trust us, if your kid has something that’s big to them to say, such as coming out, and you already know because you read their journal, it will be humiliating. The words in a journal are for their eyes only – what they tell you is for you.

 

  1. Stop Saying “Because I Said So”

The reason for this is simple: it’s not a valid answer. Nor is it a rational one. Think about it for a second. If you can’t be bothered to take the time to explain your reasons, then how can you possibly expect your teenager to respect them? The answer is: you can’t. We’re not saying that explaining your reasons will prevent every argument from happening, but it will prevent some and give you a better grounding. Just saying ‘because I said so’ every time your kid questions you will only lead to a bad relationship.

 

  1. Their Bedroom Is Their Sanctuary

Every teen needs their own space for some peace and quiet and solitude, and it will help your relationship if you give it to them. Let them have somewhere to escape, somewhere to sulk, somewhere to phone their BFFs in private, and make sure your download speed is top notch so they can play video games with their mates online. If they do storm off and slam the door, give them a minute to breathe and think and then knock to request a chat. By doing so, you will allow them to escape in some way, and all teens need that feeling or they will start to suffocate.

 

  1. Say Sorry When You Mess Up

We all expect our kids to say sorry when they mess up, so don’t for one second think you can move the goalposts, brush over it or make excuses when you do. Parents can’t always be right and kids can’t always be wrong, that’s not fair. Instead, show your teenager how to say sorry, lead them in the right direction, teach them the importance of owning their mistakes and show that saying sorry when you mess up is a good thing.

 

  1. Really, Really Listen To Them Speak

The world of a teenager is a complex and odd one and, usually, they don’t understand it themselves. It’s confusing. That’s why you need to really listen to them, try to understand their world, their life and their views. Don’t just talk at them because you think you know best, but talk with them. Talk over their thoughts and feelings. Listen to your teenager even when they don’t say anything. Just be there for them and reach out when you think they need you.

 

  1. Their Problems Are Real Too

No, they might not have to put food on the table, keep a roof over the head, manage as a single parent, find ways to get a promotion or deal with the pressures of adulthood, but don’t discount their struggles and stresses because they are real to them. Their world might well be different than your world, and the world they live in now is probably worlds away from the one you lived in as a teen, but they still need to know you care. They need to know their life and worries and struggles are cared about, so try and understand them. Try and empathise a bit more. Try to see why they are feeling how they are.

 

The teenage years are a challenge for both you (the parent) and them (the teen). But the sooner you can understand this, the sooner you will be able to overcome the challenges as a team.

Kids CAN Eat Healthily With Your Encouragement

If there is one bugbear of every parent, it’s the picky eater. Almost every family has one and it’s the one thing that throws up roadblocks at meal times. Creating an environment where food is something that your children enjoy is so important for stress-free mealtimes. The most important thing is that your children are eating a healthy and balanced diet and encouraging this is going to be crucial for your child and their growth.

The difficulty comes where you have a picky eater who will only eat beige food. Or cold food. Or food from the freezer, because your homemade fries in the air fryer oven just aren’t the same as the ones from the bag. I know, it’s annoying and frustrating because you’re making your best homemade meals, and your children are turning up their noses. You need to think about how to encourage your children to eat well, and below we’ve got some tips to get you started.

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No Restrictions. When you sit at the table and you catch yourself saying no to dessert unless plates are clean, did you know you could be fostering bad habits for your child? Restricting certain sweet foods and fatty foods based on not wanting them to overeat is going to go against you in the future. Kids are susceptible to eating disorders and this has to be something that you avoid. Placing restrictions on food can lead to that. Instead, offer healthy swaps and allow sweet foods to be a part of their healthy diet.

Open Bowl. The fruit bowl on the table is always full, but if children don’t feel they can take without permission, there’s a problem. Opt for an open bowl policy, whereby fruits and vegetables can be eaten whenever they want them. Children will be far more relaxed about eating healthy food if they are allowed them whenever they like.

Praise, Don’t Nag. If you catch your child eating an apple, show them your approval at their snack of choice. Proud smiles, praise and an approving nod can go a long way to uplifting their self-esteem.

Cook Together. When it comes to the snacks that are under the ‘junk’ umbrella, why not cook together and create healthy versions of junk snacks. If you get them involved in making baked tortilla chips and homemade salsa, you can encourage healthy food while educating them on how to make an unhealthy snack healthier.

Control. Sometimes, children feel they have no control over their eating. It’s good to let them help you make the grocery list and the menu for the house when you write down the food you want to make for the week.

Children are intelligent, even the picky ones! The picky eaters in your home need to be taught about food; where it comes from and how to make it and the best food to eat. All you have to do is be the person educating them and give them some time to come around. It won’t happen overnight, so have patience.

End of Summer Checklist for Your Home

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Even though we still have some more summer weeks left to enjoy, it won’t be too long until the leaves start changing colours and fall arrives once again. And when the weather does start to get cooler once again, you need to make sure that your home is fully prepared for it. To give you a helping hand, we are going to be running through an end of summer checklist right here, so that you are ready to batten down the hatches, make your home more efficient and prepare for more time spent indoors.

 

Clean Out the Gutters

 

All sorts of bits of debris can get stuck in your gutters during the summer months including leaves, sticks etc. And when autumn comes along, you are going to need to clear them out with a greater level of frequency. Giving them a big end of summer clearout will help to prepare you for this. You could even consider upgrading to seamless gutters or install some gutter guards, which will help to reduce instances of clogging and increase overall safety.

 

Secure Your Windows

 

The summer provides a great opportunity to inspect your windows and decide whether or not it is time to get some replacement window ideas before the winter arrives and everyone else starts trying to do exactly the same thing. Even if you decide not to go for a complete replacement, you could still make sure that they are properly sealed with some caulking or weatherproofing solutions. Now is the time to deal with draughts, before they become a major problem in winter.

 

Prepare to Retire Your Outdoor Living Room

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Many people keep all their furniture out during the summer months, but there comes a time of year when you need to store it all away again. You also need to make sure that your decks, fences, and other outdoor wooden items have the level of protection that they require when they are battling the winter elements. For example, applying a sealant stain and double checking the overall stability of the deck will go a long way.

 

Check the Roof

 

If you are planning to inspect the roof yourself, your safety should obviously take precedence. And if there is any major repair work which needs to be undertaken, you are probably better off calling in the professionals to take care of this for you. Look out for any shingles which are curling or ones that look easily breakable. Repairing or replacing your roof is never going to be a task which is particularly enjoyable, but if you take care of it early before winter arrives, you will be able to complete the task so much better.

 

Though you may not want to think about summer ending just yet, if you are prepared, you make it more likely that you won’t have to complete any big and difficult jobs when the winter months arrive. These are just four of the tasks which are worth ticking off your to-do list when you can.

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