5 Great Summertime Party Ideas

Summer-ToysSummer parties are something everyone looks forward to every year.  Spending time with friends and family outdoors is always a good way to spend your summer. This year, it’s time to kick it up a notch.  Themed parties are trending and are a good alternative to the everyday summer bash.  Here are a few sure-fire party themes that your friends won’t want to miss!

1.  Luau
A luau is an amazing summer theme for a party because it’s like a stay-cation.  Who wouldn’t love to be in Hawaii lounging on the beach?  Since we all can’t hop on a plane to the islands, why not host a party mimicking it. Fire up the pit and roast a full pig.  Bowls of macadamia nuts on every table gives your guests the chance to munch on local snacks.  Sugar cane stalks, Pineapples and native Hawaiian flowers create the perfect setting.  If you happen to have a pool, this is also a great chance to break in the new inflatable pool toys for the kids! After the sunsets, it’s time for the entertainment! Offer your female guests grass skirts and it’s time to dance!  Don’t forget the tiki torches!

2. Fiesta

Start your blenders! We’re having a Mexican fiesta!!! Serve frozen margaritas and homemade sangria in your favorite drinkware sets to get the party started! A mariachi band, or background music sets the scene.  Line your tables with an abundance of chips with salsa and guacamole and for the meal, plan a taco or burrito bowl bar for your guests to fill their plates with as many different ingredients as they please.  Keep it as rustic and authentic as possible so you  have time to enjoy the party yourself!  When the meal ends, break out the piñata…you’re never too old to for a piñata!

3. DIY Drive-in

This theme is more relaxed and comfortable than the rest.  A DIY drive-in is a fun alternative to a party.  Lay blankets and pillows on the grass and set up a portable screen with a projector.  Serve flavored popcorn and movie snacks to your guests.  Nachos, soft pretzels, and candy are perfect finger foods that can be served on your casual dinnerware for the movie.  When it comes to the film, pick something that is appropriate for your guests.  Whether it be a classic movie such as the Wizard of Oz or a fun party flick like Clueless, your guests will surely enjoy themselves. (This theme is also a great idea for children’s parties.)

4. Derby Party

The Kentucky Derby may be over but that doesn’t mean you can’t host a derby themed bash.  Invite your guests to dress in their best derby attire.  Women wearing dresses and big hats, and men dressed to the nines in their Sunday best! Serve wine and bourbon and keep the food as authentic as possible by offering a delicious southern menu.  Play games and place bets like you would at the racetrack.  Your guests won’t leave disappointed!…unless they lose all their money.

5. Rooftop Party

If you have the luxury of having a rooftop deck, I highly suggest you plan a party. There is nothing more beautiful or romantic in the summer than a rooftop party overlooking the amazing skyline that any city has to offer.  The lighting at this party is key.  String lights across the deck and light candles on the tables.  Offer your guests finger food and appetizers to nibble on. When it comes to alcohol, keep it simple and serve wine and beer.

Obviously the list for themed parties is endless.  Whatever you decide on will surely make your summer parties the talk of the town!

Maintaining Your Organic Bedding

 Animal-Print-BeddingSo, you are amongst those nature loving fashion conscious people, who have adorned their bedroom with eco-friendly organic bedding. No matter it is wool, cotton or bamboo bedding… You have invested a lot of your time researching the best for your bedroom.

Organic bedding is mostly machine washable, but if it is cotton bedding, take extra care that you swab it with cold water or lukewarm water. This will aid you to avoid shrinkages and general fabric wear and tear.

Go green completely… even while washing your organic bed sheets! Use detergents and fabric softeners that are chemical and phosphate free. This will ensure that you do not add toxins to your bed sheets and local water systems.

What to do if your bamboo bedding catches  stains? Try the years old home-made stain remover formula! Soak the stained bamboo bedding for a few hours in a diluted vinegar solution and then keep it exposed to the sun for drying. Sunlight will act as a natural stain fader. You can also test the magic of grapefruit seed extract. Put a little bit of it on the stain directly and see the stains go vanish.

Although, some of the natural bedding like the bamboo bedding are hypoallergenic and mold & mildew resistant, but it is always a good idea to air your bedding  once a month in the fresh breeze and sunlight. This will keep it hygienic and away from allergens, mold, bed bugs and unwanted odors.

Are you planning to store your bedding and not using it for a while? If yes, then this storage advice is a must for you! Store your bedding at a cool and a dry place well wrapped in a paper or a cloth bag for proper airing. Add some cedar chips to the packing to avoid moth damage.

You can always take professional help for your natural bedding maintenance. Sometimes you need an experienced professional cleaner, who can not only clean but can value your precious collection of green bed sheets and comforters. Hunt for one, who uses wet cleaning methods rather the dry cleaning, as wet cleaning is more healthy for your bedding and you.

Hope the above stated tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your green organic bedding purchase.

This post is created by Dana Smith, She is a avid user of bamboo bedding and other organic beddings. She loves to share the tips on how one can increase the live of the bedding.

America the Beautiful: 4 Great Items for your Fourth of July Party

AmericanaWith Independence Day just around the corner, it is time to start the preparations for this year’s festivities.  In order to host the perfect Fourth of July party, you need to make sure you have all of the essential items to make your party a hit! Whether the party is on the beach, or in the backyard one thing is for sure–it’s going to be one heck of a party!

Without further ado, here are your Fourth of July essentials!

1.  Grill

Regardless what your plans for today are, a grill is one of the most important items that you should have today.  Burgers, Hot Dogs, Brats, you name it! If its grill-able it’s the way to go today.  Simplicity at its best is a definite.  Just don’t forget your grill accessory set!

2. Stars and Stripes

It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without some sort of red, white and blue.  So throw on a patriotic colored outfit and dress your kids up in cute sundresses and call it a day!  There are so many different options when it comes too festive clothing for the Fourth.  T-shirts, shorts, dresses and even swimsuits come in our nations colors.  You surely won’t be the only ones on the block wearing stars and stripes.  Make sure you pack the sunscreen!

3.  Patriotic Tablecloths and Utensils

Deck your party out with all of the patriotic trimmings. Colored utensils, flag themed napkins and tablecloths. What kind of Fourth of July Party would it be without the delicious burgers you grilled served on patriotic serveware?

4. Lights and Toys

Today is the day our country is celebrating its independence! Let’s honor what our forefathers have done for this country with fireworks and sparklers!!–(but since fireworks are restricted  in some states, let’s stick with lights that shine bright, and maybe some sparklers). Make sure to keep the kids entertained with a host of outdoor toys that will keep them going for hours.

So there you have it.  Stick with those 4 essentials and the rest is up for grabs! Happy Fourth of July.

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

Our favorite items for this week involve a Garden theme.  Our Garden selection includes bulbs, seeds and growing kits for that garden you’ve always wanted to start. We have a wide variety of outdoor decor and outdoor furniture to entertain your guests for cookouts and parties.  Your outdoor decor will take a dramatic new turn with the items listed below.  Enjoy your weekend and the outdoors! 

corner-planter-fences

The Corner Planter Fences prevent foot traffic through a flower bed or mark the borders of your property in a decorative way. It holds up to three 4″ dia. potted plants

solar-post-cap-light

Solar-powered post cap light brings the exquisite look of stained glass to your home’s exterior. A solar panel soaks up the sun’s rays to activate the light in darkness. It’s designed to fit standard 4″ or 3-1/2″ wood or vinyl posts on outdoor decks, porches, patios and fences. The light begins to glow automatically at dusk.

set-3-harmony-bells

Set of 3 Harmony Bells gives your home’s exterior an ambiance of natural appeal. Hang them separately or together as a set to enjoy the gentle sound created by wooden clappers in the iron bells. The rustic brass finish shimmers like burnished gold in the sun.

whimsical-boot-planter

Whimsical Boot Planter looks just like a pair of children’s rain boots. This amusing planter is a charming way to add a plant to your patio or foyer. Put in some ivy or flowers and put it on display. Glazed cold cast ceramic

amazing-grace-wind-chime

Amazing Grace Wind Chime will add a calming touch to your outdoor space. Two of the chimes feature words from the hymn and the others are accented with different crosses. Together, they make peaceful sounds in the slightest breeze.

When Do I Need To Upgrade My Kitchen?

Kitchen-UpdgradeThe kitchen is one of the first places a prospective buyer will view when analyzing a potential property. Even if you have no plans to sell up anytime soon, it is still necessary to take a long, hard look at your kitchen to see if you need an upgrade. You could spend a small fortune renovating your home but if the kitchen isn’t up to scratch, all the effort and cash will be wasted. But how do you know if your kitchen requires an upgrade? Read on to find out.

Old Appliances
It’s time to remove your reliable old kitchen appliances and opt for something modern that fits in with the style of your brand new kitchen. You don’t have to spend a small fortune when it comes to upgrading a kettle, toaster, fridge or microwave as online sellers can provide kitchen appliances such as Ship It cooker hoods at prices far below what you can expect to pay in a bricks and mortar store.

Cramped Layout
Take a close look at your kitchen space and think of the problems you encounter on a daily basis. Maybe you are tired of running around the kitchen to prepare meals or else you need extra space for storage of brand new kitchen appliances. The modern kitchen needs to be multi-functional so make changes if yours does not currently fit the bill!

Cracked Flooring/Counter Tops
If you have an old kitchen, it is likely that there are cracks in the sink and the counter tops are chipped. There may be burns on your work surfaces and the finishes of cabinets are worn. If you have hardwood flooring or tiles, the floor may need to be replaced if it can’t be repaired. There is no point adding a splash of color or spending money on new kitchen appliances if the rest of the room looks outdated.

Ancient Cabinetry
DIY experts suggest that even adding new handles to the doors of cabinets can make them look new but in some cases, this won’t be enough. If you have cabinets that are wonky, get stuck when you try to open drawers and have paint or wood chipping, it’s time for a change. Look for a cabinet style and design that fits in with your other changes for a kitchen to be proud of.

If You Are Selling
In the United States alone, roughly $15 billion is spent each year on kitchen renovations which proves beyond doubt that a kitchen is of paramount importance in the home. A remodeled kitchen can offer almost a full return on investment in terms of adding to the price you fetch for your property and it certainly makes the home more appealing to prospective buyers. If you are planning to spend cash on renovating the kitchen, remember that quick fixes will be insufficient as buyers will always see problems beneath the glossy surface.

When selling a property, upgrading the kitchen is advisable and even if you plan to live in your existing home for many years to come, it makes sense to improve your family’s standard of life with a contemporary kitchen that has the best modern conveniences.

Patrick Lynch has been a full-time freelancer writer for 5 years. He has a Master’s Degree in Literature & Publishing from the National University of Ireland, Galway and has written more than 10,000 articles for a variety of international clients such as Fusewave, Muscle & Strength, Guinness and Red & Black Solutions.

What’s Hot and What’s Not in Bedroom Design

bedroom-designA sleeping haven. A comfortable refuge. This is how we usually describe our bedroom. That is why it is important to keep it looking pleasant and welcoming.

Are you planning to make a big difference in your bedroom interior design? If you have the budget, you can always seek the service of professional interior designer. Otherwise, you can just do it on your own. The latter is more practical and gives you the freedom to express yourself. However, doing your own bedroom design does not mean you can just put in anything you want. Of course, there are limitations to consider to make your bedroom friendly and comfortable.

What’s Hot

Wallpaper – Coating the wall of your bedroom with your favorite color is a common scenario. Sure it creates a good outcome; but, it’s quite ordinary and nothing unique about it. Why not try wallpapers? For such a long time, wallpapers are used to cover and embellish walls. Wallpapers never run out of style. In fact, wallpaper can bring in a dramatic appeal inside your bedroom. There are so many designs you can choose from. Opt for the one that suits your taste.

Mix and Match – Be bold. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. Experiment with color combination. One color should dominant while the others are accents. Use at least two to three colors. Play with colors but do not overdo. For instance, you can have green curtains and bedding sets while adding pink flowers in a vase atop the bedside table. As much as possible, avoid using two strong colors together. They are likely to product dim atmosphere. White is a calming color which you can accent with just any other tone.

Customized Headboard – Create a statement for your bed with a personalized headboard. Customized design means it reflects your taste and preference. Decide what style and type of headboard you want for your bed. There are different designs you can pick from. Headboard comes in a variety of materials, such as wood, fabric, iron, cushion and leather. Just pick which one fits your style. Surely, you will be able to sleep soundly with the headboard of your choice.

What’s Not Hot

Too Many Electronics – Okay, so it’s a common thing to have television inside the room. It’s understandable since most of us want to watch our favorite show while laying in bed. Sometimes, we want to have a DVD player in addition to the TV – still understandable. But if you want to add a stereo system, loudspeakers and other electronic devices, you’ll turn your bedroom into an entertainment room. Transfer your standalone pc if you have a laptop. Limit your electronics to the most essential ones. It is not pleasant to look at a bedroom with so many cables scattered like snakes on the floor.

Overflowing FurnitureStorage space is important in a bedroom to house your essentials and clothes. Before you stuck your room with any kind of furniture, ask yourself – “do you need it there?”. Too many furniture can make your bedroom smaller and crowded. Furniture occupies space, thus minimizing the area. To refrain from overcrowding your room, add only a few pieces of furniture including a table, cabinet and dresser. If your room is bigger, you may add more but not too many.

Inappropriate Bed Size – Comfort is often the main concern when buying a bed. However, you should never neglect the size of your room. If your room has limited space, opt for medium to small-sized bed. A big bed in a small area can make your bedroom feel congested. Meanwhile, a small bed will look dwarf in a huge room. Pick the right size of bed. Remember the bed should be the focal point inside the room.

Whether you live in one of those apartments in Dallas or big houses in California, you can make your room a relaxing and comfy sanctuary if you know what’s hot and what’s not in designing. Have fun decorating your room!

Ashley O’connor writes blogs related to home improvement. She strongly believes that whether you live in one of those big houses or medium-sized apartments , making your home comfortable and more livable does not require you to spend a fortune. Follow her on Twitter at @AshleyOconnor and Google+.

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

I know it was a short work week with the Holiday, but why does it feel like it was a long week?  This week’s favorite items have an organization feel to them.  That’s it, maybe if I was more organized then the week would have been easier!  Enjoy your weekend everyone!

kitchen-cabinet-organizer

Kitchen Cabinet Organizers solve storage problems common to all kitchens. The Pot Lid Holder easily stores almost any size lids on their sides instead of stacked on top of each other or on their pots. Holds up to 4 lids depending on their size.

wall-mount-plastic-bag-dispenser

The Wall-Mount Wooden Plastic Bag Dispenser will help you stop wasting plastic bags! Use them over and over again with the convenient and attractive Wall-Mount Wooden Plastic Bag Dispenser. Just mount it to a wall for fast and simple use. Lift the top to put bags in. Pull them out, one at a time, through the opening in the bottom. Colorful artwork decorates the front of the dispenser.

zebra-hanging-organizers

Zebra Print Hanging Organizers have see-through pockets to help you find what you want quickly. A metal hanger on each one slips over a closet rod, hook, or doorknob to keep it handy. The double-sided Jewelry Organizer features 25 small pockets and 3 larger pockets on each side to hold all your earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces

zebra-storage-bins

Zebra Storage Bin Sets are great for storing a variety of items in a bedroom, bathroom or dorm room. They offer a wild touch to a girl’s room with bold black and white zebra stripes trimmed with hot pink. The Set of 2 Covered Bins offers concealed storage that makes a room look tidy. Each has an easy flip-open top and 9″ long handles on the sides.

casserole-queens-cookbook

The Casserole Queens Cookbook revamps the ultimate quick-fix meal to suit the taste of your modern family! Make a tasty meal fit for royalty with fresh ingredients any night of the week. From Tuna Noodle with homemade cream sauce and a kick of cayenne pepper to home-style desserts, like gooey apple butter cake. Includes 16 pages of color photographs, plenty of expert tips and lots of style.

Accessory And Dress Tips For A Mother Of The Bride

wedding-ringsAs a mother of the bride, you have the job of looking as fabulous as possible without outshining the bride. While you might find it easy to choose to wear a pencil dress or skirt and professional shirt combination, it can be a little harder to pick out accessories. Do you go for something subtle and leave all of the attention to the bride, or do you go for something a little more fabulous and show everyone just where the bride got her fashionable taste from?

While there is plenty of decisions whichever avenue you choose, most of them depend on your outfit and your personality.

The Dress
Whether you choose to wear a dress or a skirt is up to you, but the main rule is that it should not be white. Pencil skirts and dresses are very much in fashion and have been for some time. This is because they are modest, mature and yet still offer a feminine look and the ability to show off your curves. Pencils are form-fitting and sexy but demure in their own way, so they are perfect for a mother of the bride. If you aren’t comfortable in a pencil skirt, try a retro style with a flared skirt instead. Great ideas include choosing a dress that matches the theme of the wedding and going for modesty. If you pick a drab dress, you can always improve its look with a couple of unique accessories.

Choosing the Shoes
As a rule, your shoes should always match your dress and should usually be lower than those of the bride. You should also consider practicality in case of an outdoor wedding. If you want to ensure that you look less glamorous than the bride, consider going for a pair of strappy wedges in either black or the same color as your dress. The wedge gives you a more glamorous look while appearing modest and toned down enough to give the bride her day.

Hats, Veils and Fascinators
As the mother of the bride, you can choose to wear hats, veils and fascinators to match your dress. If you’ve gone with a specific brand of clothing, you can choose yours hats and veils from there. A couple of rules in this case include that you should again never choose white and you must ensure that the veil doesn’t cover your whole face. Other than that, you can choose something subtle or glamorous depending on your own personal taste. For example, you could choose to match the hat to all or part of the dress and match it to a jacket or even to your shoes.

Jackets and Cardigans
The last thing to choose from is whether you want a jacket or a cardigan. Usually it is a good idea to choose one or the other, although neither is absolutely necessary if the weather is warm. In either case, the material should either match with or contrast with your dress for a chic or fashionable look. If you choose to contrast with the dress, try matching accessories such as hat and shoes with your cardigan or jacket instead of with the dress.

There are plenty of things to think about when choosing your mother of the bride dress and accessories, but for the most part you should consider what the bride wants. Checking the theme and style of the wedding, the colours used in the wedding, what the bridesmaids are wearing and most importantly, what the bride is wearing, can be a lifesaver when picking out your outfit.

Gem Wilson is a writer who understands that a mother of the bride should not overshadow her daughters dress. She therefore suggests looking at Condici mother of the bride dresses to find something which is flattering and stylish whilst also being modest and somewhat understated.

Image Credit: SandHills Wedding Expo

The Many Ways Kids Benefit From Team Sports

sports-huddleEnrolling your child into a team sport may be one of the best decisions you can make for him or her. Read on to learn more about the myriad benefits your child can derive by participating on a sports team, as well as all of the lessons that he or she will be able to utilize well into adulthood.

Coaches that Become Mentors
Great coaches are really incredible individuals who are willing to help mold child athletes into even better people than they already are. Coaches don’t just take child athletes and make them even better athletes; they teach kids how to be more positive and they instill many valuable lessons about perseverance, respect, and having a positive attitude even in challenging situations. When a team does well, they thank their coach, and when a team doesn’t do so well, they look to their coach for inspiration and motivating words to get them to do even better next time.

If your child is exposed to positive coaches within their sports teams from early on, they will also be more likely to seek out mentors throughout the rest of her life. And during those hard teenage years that everyone has to go through, coaches can dramatically help teens who need someone they can trust and to whom they can vent if they need to, especially if they don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents.

Team Sports Instill Discipline
Being on a team requires a high level of discipline, and this is why children of all ages who participate in sports tend to have fewer behavioral issues and also perform better in school. Team sports require players to show up to practice on time, remain at practice until everyone is finished, and have the dedication to go to every game and put all of their effort into the events. You can’t be on a team and miss a practice just because you don’t feel like going because you’ll end up getting kicked off the team, and the sooner a child learns this responsibility, the better he or she will perform in other situations that require dedication, like school and work.

Being on a team also teaches a child to be patient, to help others who need extra guidance rather than laugh at them or ignore them, and to always strive to do better.

Working with Others to Achieve
Though our modern society seems to be all about the individual rather than the group, the reality is that none of us will benefit if we are all just looking out for ourselves, and people who play on sports teams from a young age realize this lesson right away. Teammates understand that they need each other to succeed, so they have to put aside their differences and work on helping each other succeed so that the entire team can do better. This is a very important life lesson that many children do not receive because they are not on team-oriented sports.

Andrew Dean is a personal trainer and expert in all aspects of health and fitness. He often advises clients to visit puddleducks.com to check out the latest swimming lessons for their children.

Image Credit: Tiny Prints Blog

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

Happy Friday everyone!  We have an exciting long weekend ahead of us but even more exciting is our top 5 favorite items for the week.  Enjoy your weekend and Happy Memorial Day!

flip-flops

Girls’ Light-Up Flip-Flops make summer fun! They have vibrant colored straps that light up with each step and girly patterns to enhance all kinds of spring and summer outfits. Awesome during the day, these cool flip-flops are an absolute blast when they light up at night

food-tent

Food Picnic Tent keeps bugs away from your food while allowing you easy access. Roll-up doors with fabric-magic closures let you reach in and help yourself. The sheer polyester fabric allows you to see the goodies inside, but doesn’t allow pests to get in. The tent poles are collapsible so when you’re done eating, you can pack up the tent in the included compact carrying case.

 

sand-castle

Deluxe Sand Castle Playset lets you create a mini kingdom on the beach. Challenging enough for adults, yet easy enough for kids, families will have fun building this elaborate sand castle. The 25-pc. set includes everything from construction tools to inhabitants. The big bucket it comes in is also the castle mold

tiki-torch

Set of 3 Tabletop Tiki Torches is a perfect accessory for your next summer gathering. Polynesian-inspired table accents have real bamboo construction which means they’re as durable as they are eye-catching. Whether you’re hosting a luau pool party or just a relaxed dinner on the backyard patio, this novel accent lighting will help you set the mood.

 

water-balloon

This catapult is the ultimate weapon to have in a water balloon fight. Launch the water-filled missile and watch it soar up to 150 feet. It’s easy to use–simply stretch the side cords, load a balloon, then fire! Comes with 50 balloons.