The Successful Way To Take On Your Mondays

Just like clockwork, with the passing of time, Monday morning comes around once a week, no matter how much you might will it away. Signalling the end of the weekend and the start of yet another working week, Monday has gained something of a bad reputation over the years and now, it is almost universally disliked. You might begrudgingly accept the fact that Monday will always be that way, bringing you back into reality like a cold slap around the face. What, though, if you could turn around the day altogether? Mondays are the chance for a fresh start on the week, giving you a regular chance to begin over again, to take another shot. It’s all a question of perspective.

Tackling your Monday with poise, style and grace need not be as hard as you had thought. Exasperation and exhaustion might run high at the start of the week but by tweaking a few things as you go, you can make a whole lot more out of your day. Thought that things could only get better from the start of the week? It turns out, they might already be pretty perfect.

Get Ahead Of Time

It’s all in the small details. If you think that things are magically going to fall into place on your Monday morning, you might have a huge surprise waiting for you in the wings. Small details can accumulate over the course of the weekend and unless you get yourself into gear, and fast, you might start to feel overwhelmed with it all come the morning. It’s all about giving yourself the time to adjust. If you can, getting prepared on Sunday evening can help you out a huge amount, giving you the time and space to ease into the working week. Doing things like laying out your clothes, preparing your lunch and arranging your suitcase can make all the difference, having you out the door in no time at all. Your week will start off that bit less hectically and you will have the mindspace to get to work.

Switch Your Frame of Mind

Mondays can be downright painful. After a long weekend of relaxing, sleeping in and doing whatever you please, the start of the week can come down on you like a ton of bricks, crippling any sense of motivation you might have mustered up. Mondays and Sundays are a whole world apart and in order to give yourself the best chance of getting going, it pays to switch your mindset. Instead of thinking about Monday as the end of your free time, why not rather think of it as a blank space, or an opportunity to start something afresh? Mondays shouldn’t signify the end of something that you really love and by altering your negative perspective, you can make all the difference.

Keep It Offline

Sleepily reaching for your phone as you’re lying in bed might be something of a morning habit of yours, but it’s probably not doing you any sort of good. Looking at your phone first thing in the morning is a sure fire way to ramp up your stress levels before you’ve even set foot into the office. On a Monday morning, out of any time at all, give yourself a flying chance and keep your headspace firmly offline. Resisting the urge to check your office emails before you begin working might be a very real struggle, but it will have you feeling a whole lot calmer. You don’t need to be in the know, all of the time.

Up Your Nutrition Intake

Prefer to sleep in late rather than getting yourself a good breakfast? You could be making things a great deal harder for yourself down the line. The importance of eating something nutritious and balanced in the morning is evident enough but on a Monday morning, it can make even more of a difference to how you feel. Try looking to protein-rich eggs, porridge or a healthy green smoothie. Your hunger pangs will be kept under wraps and you’ll have the energy to concentrate on your working day. It’s win-win!

Take It Back A Notch

Ever balked at those people who claim to prefer the mornings over any other part of the day? They might not be as bizarre as you had thought. Giving yourself the time and space in which to get going with your day can make the earliest stretches a huge amount more enjoyable and enriching. Getting up earlier to enjoy a healthy breakfast, do a little yoga or even meditate in your room can give you just the headspace you need to adjust to your working pace on a Monday morning. It might take you a little time to get going once more but once you get into the swing of things, there will be no stopping you.

Battling the Winter Blues? Let These Homely Hobbies Help

With all the of the festivities well and truly wrapped up for another year, you might be feeling the after effects of the season. There’s a reason why winter is the cruellest time of year and if you’re looking at the next few cold months with a lump in your throat, you might not be alone. What, though, if there were another way to approach the winter season? While winter might cut you off from the outdoors, there are plenty of ways that you can make the most of the next few months by changing up your schedule somewhat. These indoor hobbies can easily replace your summertime activity, allowing you to make the most of your free time without venturing too far out into the cold.

Cook Up A Storm

Want to improve your cooking skills? There has never been a better time than now in which to commit yourself to the project. Turning up the heat might be all but impossible during the summer months so now that things have well and truly cooled down, why not try experimenting with that recipe book that you had on hold? Even if you’re not adept in the kitchen, you can dedicate the coming days and weeks to perfecting your cooking style, experimenting with all kinds of dishes and flavors. Invest in a really good cookbook before you go and get started with the most classic of dishes out there.

Balance It All Out

Saying that you’re going to do something is a whole lot different to actually going through with it. While getting into yoga might have been high up on your to-do list for some time now, you might have been putting it off and putting it off, leaving the activity on the back burner. Now is the time in which to take action. Yoga is an incredible way to get in tune with your body and improve your strength and flexibility. Even if you already work out, you could be overlooking essential areas of your fitness in your exercise plan. Yoga will help you to destress, focus on specific muscle groups and tone yourself up. Better yet, the activity can be performed in the comfort of your own home, meaning that you don’t even have to go anywhere!

Brush Up Your Languages

Speaking a foreign language is something that so many of us want to do and yet, we seem to fail to find the time in which to actually go ahead with. The long winter evenings are yours for the taking. If travel is going to be a part of your year ahead, getting ahead of the curve and focusing on your language of choice can be a really great path to take. You can try attending evening classes, watching Youtube videos or downloading a language app on your phone. Just an hour or so every evening can make all the difference to your skills, giving you the foundation you need in order to go further.

Get Writing

Having a creative way in which to express yourself can work wonders for your wellbeing. If you’re interested in the world of writing, now might be the perfect time in which to put pen to paper – so to speak – and draft yourself up a blog. Your writing doesn’t have to reach a lot of people; it’s all about expanding your own creativity and trying something new. If you’re looking to get into creative writing and feel that you would like to pick up a skill of two, you can try looking into courses such as Skillshare in order to get going. Writing a little bit each day can help a great amount, giving you the foundation that you need in order to go further with your hobby.

Perfect Your Penmanship

Over the last couple of years, the popularity of calligraphy has really peaked. What was once an antiquated way of adding a little flourish to a piece of writing has now become something altogether different, giving you the chance to express yourself in any way that you should so please. Modern calligraphy can help you to make your own cards, table places or wall prints, expanding your creative possibilities a huge amount. If you’re not sure where to start, you can try searching for online classes or teaching yourself with a good old fashioned book and pen. Interactive apps also make it even easier than ever to express yourself, helping you to perfect your art either digitally or on paper.

Travel Further: Use These Apps To Plan Your Next Vacation

With the new year on the horizon, you might well be thinking about how you’re next going to jet off and see the world anew. While the thought of hopping on a plane and going wherever the wind might carry you can seem appealing, the reality can be a whole lot different, taking a big chunk out of your energy reserves. If you find the process of getting a flight, arranging a hotel and making all the last minute details stressful, you need to turn to technology in order to help you out. There are a whole load of travel apps on the market designed to make your vacation a lot easier, reducing the worry factor remarkably. These apps are the cream of the crop, making picking a flight and jetting off a much closer reality.

Hopper

Juggling multiple websites to ensure that you’re getting the best deal for your flight? There’s an app for that. If you’re finding searching on competitor websites time consuming and exhausting, you can try using Hopper to streamline your travel search. A mobile app, Hopper compares all of the deals on flights for the dates that you have chosen, locating the best deal out there for you. All you need to do is select your route, punch in the dates and the app will tell you what to do and when to do it. Better yet, you can also set alerts to tell you when flight prices drop, helping you get your hands on a ticket sooner than ever. With savings of up to 40% to be had, the app will seriously change the way that you travel.

Hitlist

If you’re the type of person who has an ever growing travel wishlist, you can turn to apps in order to make your adventuring dreams a reality. Hitlist is a mobile app that allows you to enter all of your dream travel destinations into its servers, in turn sending you alerts when flights to these places are at their lowest. If you’re not sure what city it is that you’re looking to go to, you can define your search according to region or country, helping you to see parts of the world that you might otherwise have overlooked. The app lets you stockpile all sorts of trips and travel variants, giving you the chance to jet off whenever your fancy takes it!

TripAdvisor Hotel Flights

Keeping tabs on different hotels can be a tricky business, particularly when you’re using different vacation websites to get the job done. If your computer screen is a sea of open tabs, you need to turn your attention towards an app that’s going to streamline everything into one easy place. Enter TripAdvisor Hotel Flights. An offshoot from the comparison website, the mobile app makes it easier for you to scour pages of hotel reviews wherever you might be, and keep tabs on the ones that are really taking your fancy. As well as giving you an insight into the best of the best, the app will help you find the best deal for you on hotels and travel, making it easier for you to enjoy your vacation in style.

Tripit

In this day and age, who uses paper anymore? Rather than getting all of your affairs in order in a paper document, you can make the task a whole lot easier by turning things digital and putting them on your phone. If you prefer to have everything in the palm of your hand, Tripit is the travel app for you. Putting your tickets, reservations and itineraries into one easy-to-access place, the app cuts down on document loss for good, making getting on top of things a walk in the park. You can also share your vacation details with family and friends, giving them a chance to get on top of your itinerary and store their information along with yours. Travel has never been so easy.

Gate Guru

Do you find that you’re forever running through the airport in a desperate bid to find your gate? Gate Guru will make things a whole lot more easy for you. Rather than running from one area of the airport to another in order to find what you want, the app can help you to make the most of what’s located near your gate, meaning you never have to wander too far off. The vacation app also comes equipped with airport alerts, telling you before the crowds if there have been any changes to your gate number or departure time.

The Healthy Ways To Make The Most Out Of Your Mornings

The early bird catches the worm but when you’re a night owl and all you want to do is sleep in the morning, what hope is there left for you? Switching up your routine might take a bit of getting used to but once you do, you can enjoy all sorts of spoils that you never even knew existed. These healthy habits will help to effectively boost your productivity, feelings of wellness and energy, all before you’ve even left the house. While it might be the dead of winter, you can still go about making a better change in your everyday routine, feeling all the better for it in the long run!

Drink A Glass Of Water

Fed up of that groggy feeling in the morning? You can change that with a glass of water. When you wake up, your body can veer into dehydration, making it harder for you to focus, feel alert and get going with your day. Drinking water has huge benefits to your overall health, helping to get your metabolism going into gear and hydrating every part of your body after a long night’s sleep. Try to drink a big glass of water down right after waking up every morning. You can even set a bottle by your bed so you know that you won’t forget.

Eat A Healthy Breakfast

There’s a good reason why we’re told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even if you think you don’t have the time to dedicate to a proper breakfast, there are still ways in which you can get something healthy into your body on the fly. Eating the right kinds of foods first thing in the morning has been found to improve your memory, lower your body mass index and boost your calcium and fiber intake throughout the day. Better yet, feeling full in the morning will make it easier to overlook any unhealthy snacks that might be making the rounds in the office. Try whipping yourself up a breakfast bowl or overnight granola the evening before. All you need to do is get out your bowl and eat up.

Put Down Your Phone

If the first thing that you do in the morning is pick up your phone and browse aimlessly through your social media feeds, this one is for you. Giving yourself time to be present in the moment can help to cut down on feelings of stress, setting you up in the right mindframe for the day ahead. Unless you have something really pressing in the office, don’t check your emails until you get to work. You will make the most out of your morning and feel all the better for it.

Create A Little Time For Yourself

The step that you’re most likely to overlook in the morning, this is the one that’s going to make the biggest difference to your everyday routine. Setting aside 15 to 30 minutes for yourself every morning is a healthy way to indulge in something you like to do, destress or take the time to prepare for the day. While it might be tempting to use this time at another point in the day, making it your top priority in the morning means that you’re much less likely to overlook the step. Try getting up 15 minutes earlier and just relaxing into the morning. You don’t know how much better you will feel for it.

Establish A Skincare Routine

Taking care of your skin should be a health priority, particularly in the colder months. In order to give your complexion that everyday glow, it’s worth taking the time out to establish a skincare routine that is going to hydrate and nourish your skin. Your routine doesn’t have to take up a great deal of time but by creating a 4 or 5 step system, you can go into the day feeling and looking your best.

Move Your Body

While exercise might be the last thing on your mind in the morning, moving your body sufficiently can work wonders on your energy levels. Morning workouts are known to reduce your stress levels, up your endorphins and give your metabolism a push in the right direction. Depending on what you like to do to stay fit, you can either opt for a high intensity workout or ease into the day with a little yoga. Get your body moving and see how great you feel for the rest of the day.

Deck the Halls: 5 Simple Ways To Kit Out Your Home This Holiday

The holiday season is well and truly upon us and with it comes a whole load of ways in which to dress up your home. The only trouble is, kitting out your apartment space is at a minimum can be a great deal more difficult than you had envisaged. After wrestling with a Christmas tree, knotting your twinkly lights and getting yourself entwined in tinsel, you might be all but ready to throw in the towel. It might simply be time to change things up a little. Approaching this year’s decorations with an innovative eye can help you out enormously, making it even simpler to give your home a festive touch.

Festive Textiles

It’s not just about the Christmas tree when it comes to kitting out your home. Bringing in the right kinds of colors and tones can make all the difference to the space, grounding the area in a festive glow. Swapping in your regular accessories for a few Christmas themed items might seem like a cheesy way in which to get in the spirit but done right, the flourishing can seriously pay off. Adding a few festive textiles to your furnishing collection can make it easier for you to decorate your home in the coming years, giving you a ready made arsenal to dip into. Don’t feel like you have to go overboard to make it count; a festive cushion and a few cozy throws can be all that it takes to prepare for the holiday without going overboard.

Hanging Stockings

Don’t have a fireplace? It doesn’t matter! Practically any surface can be used in order to suspend a festive stocking or two, bringing a touch of the season to any room in the house. If you’re not sure how to suspend yours without making a permanent change to the hardware, try investing in a pair of festive ornaments. The items can work to keep your stockings in place while giving the room an extra festive kick. In terms of stockings, the sky really is the limit. Going for a coolor tone to match your living space can bring a more minimalist tone to the space while opting for a classic choice can make things feel all the more festive. Hang your stocking for the world to see and let the rest works its magic.

Greenery and Lights

Even if you’re not opting for a tree this year, there are a number of ways that you can add a festive feel into your home and use the traditional color tones. Turning to greenery and lights can be a great way of cheating your Christmas design, bringing in the design of a festive tree without actually having to go out and get one. If you’re short on space, arranging a vase of greens and red berries can warm up the color tone of the space and create a festive corner in the room. Adding lights to frames and furnishings will add in an extra glow, giving you the illumination of a Christmas tree while saving space.

Christmas Crockery

If the holiday is more of a subtle affair in your household, you can let your existing furnishings do all of the talking for you. Swapping in your normal plates, mugs and cutlery for seasonally themed alternatives will help to base your home in the holidays without going overboard on the design. Using the mugs and plates for a few weeks during the year will make them feel a whole lot more special, bringing in a sense of excitement before the season has come to a head. Don’t be afraid to arrange your plates and mugs for the world to see; you want to show off your design!

Seasonal Treats

A sure fire way to get your guests into the festive spirit? Leave out a few snacks and treats in festive bowls! There’s something undeniably cozy about surrounding yourself with a few seasonal treats and by leaving them out for your guests, you can create an air of comfort into your home. If you whip up your own, it’s all the better; you can design the look of each snack and present it for all of your visitors to enjoy:

Get Cozy: Affordable Ways To Spruce Up Your Sleepwear

With the cold weather comes a whole new set of reasons why you should be getting cozy. Making the most of your interior space is one of the best ways to enjoy the winter and when it comes to warming up, there is no better way in which to do so than with a great set of loungewear. With everyone from celebrities to lifestyle enthusiasts singing their praises for sleepwear, there has been no better time in which to get on the cozy train. If you’re new to the whole thing, then you have a whole load of options right at your fingertips. These affordable sleepwear designs will help you to make your debut into the clothing style, giving you even more reason to stay in when it’s cold out.

Flannel Pajama Set

First things first, you need to set your sights on the ultimate pajamas. Opting for a flannel-based product can really serve you right, helping you to stay warm and feel all the more comfortable. While there are any number of styles out there, a traditional tartan number will always be a classic choice. This set utilizes a classic design for a fit that is both flattering and comforting; it really is the best of both worlds.

Fluffy Knit Slippers

There’s nothing worse than a frozen set of toes and if you’re battling a particularly cold winter season, you might be more used to sporting ice-like feet than others. It’s time to take a stand and invest in a really great pair of slippers. Knitted booties are always a good option to keep in the house, particularly if you know that you’re going to get a lot of wear out of them. This simple gray pair is plush and cozy, helping to keep your toes, feet and ankles toasty and warm no matter the state of the weather.

Embroidered Nightshirt

More of a nightshirt kind of person? You’re well covered in the sleepwear department. Opting for a loose fit, buttoned number is a simple way to get into the winter season and sport something that’s going to keep you warm. This classic embroidered number is simple and chic, finished off with all the trimmings. The simplistic pocket detail sets the look apart from the rest, helping you to kick back in style.

Dreamy Striped Pants

Mixing and matching your sleepwear is a great way to make more out of each clothing item and experiment with your style. Individual loungewear items are always a perfect pick and if you select within the same color palette, you can easily pair up a whole load of different items. When it comes to cozy basics, these striped night pants take some serious beating. Well fitting and adjustable, the pants make a great item to wear around the house, giving you even more chance to relax when you want.

Maxi Pyjama Kimono

If you’re less than thrilled about the thought of layering up with a bulky dressing gown, why not try turning your attention to on oversized kimono? Swathes of material don’t have to be heavy and synthetic and by covering yourself in an item that is light and loose, you can protect yourself against the cold without feeling weighed down. This chic and flattering kimono can hide a multitude of sins and might soon become your favorite item of clothing to wear around the house.

Printed Pajama Pant

Sleepwear is a great way to experiment with your style and with any number of designs out there, you can go as daring as you like with the whole thing. Opting for a small print can serve you well in the sleepwear department, making it even easier for you to mix and match existing items you already have. Neutral tones and soft fabrics are the ultimate winter combination, giving you a great deal to play with when you’re pairing off individual items.

Take Care: 6 Phrases You Need To Stop Saying To Yourself

The way that you take care of yourself can have a huge effect on how you feel everyday. While you might have the best support system, the most successful of careers and the happiest of relationships, it can mean very little if you’re not treating yourself in the right way. When it comes to feeling good in and of yourself, it’s all a question of perspective. While change is not going to come about overnight, you can slowly start to implement alternatives in the way that you think about yourself. Consciously changing your thought patterns can take some work but after a little time and a touch of patience, you can be well on your way to becoming a healthier, happier you.

I’ll Be Happy When

Having something to look forward in life can be a great way of setting yourself goals, motivating yourself for the future and keeping a positive mindset. When you’re so focused on achieving a goal that you forget to appreciate everything else around you, however, things can start to become messy. There are some things that can make it easier to keep on going but if you base your happiness around one single thing, you’re unlikely to be content in what it is you’re doing. You’re never going to get everything you want out of life, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be just as sweet.

Things Could Be Worse

Coming from any sort of privilege is a blessing. You should be thankful for your upbringing and think about how it has enabled you to get where you are today. When things are not going right in your life, however, it can be easy to let this privilege turn into guilt. Telling yourself things could be worse, while technically true, will only serve to invalidate your feelings and make you feel even worse about the whole thing. Don’t take away from your own emotions and your own situation. Have a little perspective, yes, but give yourself the time and care you need in order to mend.

I’m Boring

We’ve all had moments in our life when we feel a whole lot less than sparkling. Feeling dull and uninspiring is something that happens to most people but focusing too much on how you feel about yourself will only serve to worsen the situation. As long as you’re happy with your hobbies and your interests, that’s all that matters. Try as hard as you might, you simply cannot please everyone. Being happy in your own skin will see you through and make it easier to make others who appreciate you for exactly who you are.

I’m Not Doing Well Enough

Personal pressure is a very funny thing. Have too little of it and you can lose your way entirely. Have too much of it and you can feel crippled in your tracks. The trick is to find the magic number, and put just enough on yourself in order to keep yourself motivated. Being proud of how well you’re doing is nothing to be ashamed of and in fact, it can help to nurture a psychology that is a whole lot better rounded. You can sing your achievements without coming off as arrogant, so don’t feel like you can’t be happy with your situation.

Everything Happens For A Reason

Sometimes, things happen that you don’t understand and only months later, you come to realize how you’re in a much better position. Other times, however, things happen and turn your world upside down, leaving little significance in their wake. Both good and bad comes out of change but no situation changes because that’s how it was supposed to be. As hard as it might be, telling yourself that things happen randomly will give you the freedom to let go and stop trying to understand tragedy. Bad things are far too commonplace, no matter how good of a person you are.

I Don’t Have The Time

When things start to pile up on your social and working calendars, it can be easy to step out of your responsibilities for lack of enough time. While it can be harder to say yes to things on a regular basis, you can soon find yourself in a spiral of saying no, using your schedule as an excuse. If you’re living without children and have few other responsibilities, you might have the most amount of time you ever will do. Don’t overload your plate, but try saying yes to things once in awhile; you don’t know how good it might feel.

Need To Know: A Guide To Cruelty Free Makeup

With so many options at the drugstore, it’s easier than ever to go completely cruelty-free with your makeup choices. While getting into the lifestyle choice can get a little getting used to, you can soon shake up your branding choices in order to ensure you’re making a more positive impact on the world around you. For all newbies to the subject, cruelty free products ensure that no animal testing methods were used in production and all materials inside followed the same kind of process. Ensuring parent companies and conglomerates associated with each product are cruelty free, however, can be a little more complex, so it pays to really do your research before you get buying.

These makeup brands are not just at the top of their games but also, they ensure that each part of the production company is as kind as can be. Animal-friendly from start to finish, the makeup products will see you through for the long haul, helping the world to become a better place!

EcoTools Bamboo 5 Piece Brush Set

While you might be focused on the makeup products themselves, you might not have stopped to think about how the instruments you use in your routine were sourced. These EcoTools brushes are as safe as can be, following only the most ecological procedures in their production. A great starter collection for the makeup lover, the brush set ensures you get off on the right foot, helping you to apply your makeup while doing a little good, too.

Flower About Face Foundation With Primer

Getting your base down can make all the difference to your makeup look, so it’s worth investing your time in selecting the right product. The Flower About Face foundation is not only a worthy addition to your makeup routine but also, will help you to spread a little good around the planet. A two-in-one product, the foundation will help you save time in the morning and get a great amount of coverage in a couple of pumps. Better yet, the foundation is a cheaper alternative to the best high end brands, helping to keep your finances safe.

Mineral Fusion Blush

Mineral-based products are well worth looking into, particularly if flawless coverage is your thing. The Mineral Fusion Blush is one of the very best out there, giving you just the right kick of color without going overboard. As well as being cruelty-free, the product is free from talc, which can act as an allergen to more sensitive complexions. Stock your makeup draw up with this product and see how your beauty regime transforms itself.

Wet N Wild Contouring Palette

With so much emphasis going on the base, you might well think about investing in a really good contouring palette. If that’s the case, Wet N Wild has you well sorted, offering up a product as effective as it is kind to the environment. As well as coming in well below other contouring palettes, the product helps to warm up and define your complexion incredibly well. If natural contouring is your thing, this is the product for you, containing less harsh pigmentation for a more natural look.

Pixi Lash Line Ink

Defining your lash line can give you that made up look without piling on the extra makeup. If you’re looking for a natural approach to the look, the Pixi Lash Line Ink is a must for your makeup drawer. Defining your eyes in a simple flick, the product is as easy to use as it is effective. Pixi is also dedicated to ensuring that both its products and raw materials are never tested on animals, meaning you can happily enjoy any item in their collection!

E.L.F. Eyebrow Kit

Forgetting to focus on your eyebrows is practically a cardinal sin in the makeup world. If you’re looking for an effective, cruelty-free product, the E.LF. Eyebrow Kit is the product for you. Helping to define your brows without that “drawn on” look, the makeup lets you choose between a wax and a powder. The brush within the product is perfect for completing your look, so make sure you take the kit with you on the go.

Post Summer Picnic: All The Essentials For An End Of Season Gathering

Summer might be drawing to a close but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the last few rays of sunshine. Holding a seasonal picnic is a great way to make the most of the late summer warmth and celebrate a season well spent. If you’re hosting a picnic, you need to arm yourself with all of the essentials and by considering these things above all else, you’re guaranteed an event that will go off with a bang. Here’s to the summer!

Location

First things first, you need to think about the kind of place that would be suitable for your picnic. WIth fall on the cards, you might want to consider a space that has both indoor and outdoor options just in case a sudden downpour heads your way. If prime picnic real estate isn’t in your local area, there’s no reason why you can’t host your own gathering. If you have a garden, consider setting up your own space for your friends and family, bringing the park life to your home. If green spaces aren’t abundant, you can even bring the party indoors. Just set down a few rugs, get out your picnic basket and let the rest work its magic!

Picnic Basket

If you really want to do a picnic the right way, you need to think about the kind of basket you have to hand. Serving up the right kind of snacks and treats requires a good sized basket, one that is big enough to take home leftovers should you have them. While you can go out and buy your own picnic basket, you can also try adapting what you already have in order to meet your needs. An insulated freezer bag or heavy duty tote bag can do just as good a job as a wicker basket, provided you line it with a little absorbent material. You can even take along your backpack to make things a little easier on your back!

Picnic Blanket

No matter where you’re having your picnic, you’re going to need to bring along a picnic blanket. A ubiquitous picnic tool, the blanket is essential for any type of location, even if it’s a warm day. When it comes to adaptability, Turkish towels are some of the best. Lightweight and easily transported, they can be folded away and and used again with practically zero forethought. You might even want to use the material to protect any cutlery or plates you’re taking with you, ensuring they don’t get damaged along the way!

Snacking Spread

Picnic accessories dealt with, it’s time to take a closer look at what really matters. If you’re hosting a picnic, you might want to ask everyone to take along a small dish of their own to ensure you have enough food. When you’re preparing your dish, you can try turning to a shareable spread in order to appease all of your guests. Bringing food like cheeses, olives, crackers and chutneys can be a really great idea, making it easier for you and your guests to mix and match your menus. You don’t have to get a lot; a few different items can be all it takes to make your picnic a success!

Shatterproof Glasses

While you might have the perfect set of mason jars you want to bring along for your picnic, there’s good reason to leave the good stuff at home. Taking place in the great outdoors, picnics often bring with them a little rough and tumble that can lead to breakages. In order to avoid any disappointment, try picking up a few shatterproof glasses and sets of plastic cutlery before you go. That way, you can easily clean up and avoid any accidents.

Games and Music

What is a picnic without entertainment? While devising a whole new set of games can give your picnic an individual twist, you can still have a great deal of fun with a bunch of old classics. Lawn games, cards and checkers always go down well, and are usually known by everyone. Want something to set off your picnic? Try taking along a set of speakers and making your favorite summer playlist; you’re guaranteed a good time!

Celebrating The Sun: 5 Ways To Pull Off A Summer Gathering

Summer is finally here and with it comes yet another excuse to throw a party. Celebrating the sun is part and parcel of a really successful summer season and when it comes to pulling off your own gathering, it pays to put in the legwork. Having a few friends over for a few light bites is a great way of kicking back, coming together and unwinding in the late afternoon sun and if you ramp up your routine just a little bit, you can have a party to remember. The simplicity of a summer gathering requires just enough planning and forethought, with a little spontaneity thrown in for good measure. Want to make the most out of your next soirée? It’s time to take things down a notch.

Sharing Is Caring

If you want to make the most out of your party and enjoy it just as much as your guests, it’s a great idea to get everyone to muck in together. Asking your friends to take along either one dish or a few drinks can help to spread the load and arm you with a whole lot of variety. To keep things as simple as possible, it’s worth looking to dishes like salads, cold soups and dips; think cool, transportable and easily shareable. When it comes to cutlery and plates, opting for paper or wooden varieties can help to cut down on the mess and ensure that there are no awkward breakages along the way. The trick is to go for a “thrown together” vibe; that way, you can get going with the party even sooner than you had thought!

Take The Inside, Out

Looking on Pinterest is a great way of getting inspiration for your next summer party but if you want more of a laid back, relaxed atmosphere, don’t be afraid to make use of what you already have. Investing in a new set of outdoor chairs to match your theme might seem like a good idea but if you’re only going to use the set once, it can be a waste of time and money. When seating your guests, don’t be afraid to take existing furniture outside and making use of things like quilts, stools and cushions. You want people to be comfortable but ultimately, your party should be easy for you to put together.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Want to be the effortlessly relaxed host? It’s all about getting things ready before your guests arrive. Choosing options that can either be prepared and stored beforehand or need time in which to marinate can help to give you a leg up so that when your guests do arrive, all you need to do is take the food out and throw it on the barbecue. Choosing marinated meats and vegetables is also a great way of getting even more flavor out of your dishes and whipping up a culinary storm. By the time your guests arrive, everything will have already been prepared!

Create The Perfect Mood

Keeping things going when the sun goes down is one of the trickiest hurdles you can deal with, particularly if the activities are all based in the garden. To keep your guests from the dark, try filling your garden with a few tea lights, strings of bulbs and tree lanterns. The low lighting can be just the thing to create the right kind of atmosphere and will throw out enough illumination to help your guests see what they’re doing.

Keep The Mood Light

Having friends over can be enough fun in and of itself but sometimes, you might want to provide a little extra something to keep people in the party spirit. Providing entertainment of some sort, be it music or an outside game, is a great way of enhancing your party and bringing people together. Keeping the music going throughout the gathering can help to keep things feeling relaxed and using your outdoor space to get people involved in a quick game will keep things feeling light. When it comes to picking a game, simple is always best. Choosing something that takes hours to explain will just leave people feeling bored and frustrated; the key is to have fun whatever you’re doing.