5 Must Haves For The Perfect Barbecue

barbeque

It’s barbecue season again, and it’s time to bring people together under the sun for some good food and drinks. A barbecue isn’t just about food and drinks, either. It’s all about gathering together and cooking in your yard for an “al fresco” dining experience with people you enjoy. 

Yet hosting the perfect barbecue comes down to knowing the right elements to combine. If you don’t have the right things in place, your barbecue could be a flop.  To help you, here are the most important must haves to ensure your barbecue is a success.

A Grill

First thing is first—you’re going to need something to cook your meat on!  You’ll need to have a reliable grill that you know how to operate. Whether you prefer the smoky flavor of a Green Egg, or the convenience of a gas controlled grill, the one you choose will make a difference in your meat. 

Remember, you want to ensure that your grill is perfectly clean and in good working order before you invite your guests. Last but not least, make sure you have charcoal and gas too. If you don’t have a grill to rely on for a barbecue, then how can you really call it a barbecue?

Drinks

A lot of people are so focused on the food, that they forget the beverage aspect of a barbecue! From non alcoholic beverages, to alcoholic ones, you want to make sure that there’s something for everyone.

Since the weather will be warm, hydration is essential, and so is ensuring that the drinks stay cool. Keep everything on ice, and make sure your cooler is always filled. This will guarantee no one gets thirsty or heads home early because there was nothing left to drink.

Outdoor Seating

When you eat and drink outside, you have to have somewhere to sit! Outdoor seating is essential if you hope for your guests to be comfortable and mingle amongst themselves. In addition to seating, you want to make sure that there are also tables. 

After all, eating is much more comfortable when you can put your plate on a flat surface. Whether you pull out your chairs and table from inside, or you decide to buy patio furniture, the most important thing is giving your guests somewhere to sit and enjoy their meal and beverages.

Music

What good would a barbecue be without music? Setting the atmosphere is critical, which is why music is so important at your barbecue. Consider installing an outdoor bluetooth speaker, where your guests can play their favorite songs and keep the party going. If your barbecue will be extending into the evening time, you might want to consider hiring a DJ!

Lighting

If your barbecue turns into a full-fledged nighttime fiesta, then you want to make sure that you have lighting. Consider adding some string lights, or even some lanterns to really get the party going. A combination of music and lighting plus drinks and food will be sure to create a setting for a memorable barbecue that people will talk about for a long time.

3 Tips For Helping An Elderly Loved One Write Their Life Story

old person writing

If you have an elderly loved one that hasn’t written down their life story yet, they might be needing your help to ensure that they’re able to document their life both for them to reflect on as they age and for you and other family members to read when your loved one is no longer around.

If you know that your elderly loved one is going to have a hard time doing this on their own, be it because they don’t like writing or because they don’t have what they need to document like this at their senior living community, here are three tips for helping an elderly loved one write their life story. 

Use Audio Recordings To Give Them Some Privacy

Sometimes, your elderly loved one might have a hard time sharing their story with you, their family member that they love and want to view them in a positive light. So if your loved one has some questionable stories or pieces of their history, you might not get the full picture if they’re trying to share this story with you directly.

One way you can work around this is to have your loved one record their own stories with some kind of audio recorder. By teaching them how to record their own stories, you can help them have a bit of privacy as they think about and tell their stories. Additionally, by giving your elderly loved one a way to record their own stories, they can record their stories when they have energy and time. 

Consider Having Someone Else Record Their Story

Another option for potentially breaking past some of the stories that your elderly loved ones have already told you and getting into some new territory is to have someone else record their story.

By having someone who doesn’t know your loved one personally to record their story, they can use their own natural curiosity to pull out stories and feelings that your loved one may not have thought to share at previous time. Especially if you can find someone with a journalistic background, they may ask some great questions of your loved one to help craft a great story of their life. 

Turn Their Life Story Into A Memory Book

For some, the thought of writing out all of their life memories and stories can be intimidating. Especially for those who might have more visual minds, creating a memory book rather than a storybook could be ideal. 

With a memory book, kind of like a scrapbook, you can both see the images of their life and read the stories or snippets that help to bring everything else to life. And while you can help them make their own memory books like a scrapbook, you can also hire a service to take care of this part of the process for you and your loved one. 

If you want to help your elderly loved one to document their life story, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you in doing this. 

3 Tips For Getting Into The Right Mood For Writing

writing

If you’re a writer but you don’t always feel like writing, there are things that you can do to manufacture being in the right mood or mindset until you really start to feel your creative juices flowing. These tips should work whether you’re trying to write something for work, write something for yourself, or write something as an exercise.

To help you learn just what you can do to overcome issues with feeling ready to write, here are three tips for getting into the right mood for writing. 

Work With A Timer

Sometimes, if you’re needing to write something long, the idea of having to start from scratch can be intimidating. Especially if you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to write something good, it can be hard to take the first steps into your writing. And if you know you’re going to have to invest a lot of time into it, that journey can be a tough one to take. 

One way you can overcome all of these issues is to use a timer when you write. If you set a timer for 30 minutes to an hour and commit to getting as much writing done as you can during this time, you may find that it’s easier to get started and to focus your attention on your writing. Then, once the timer is up, you can reward yourself by doing something else until you’re needing to start writing again. 

Try Various Locations

When you can’t think of anything to write about, sometimes what you need is a change of scenery to help spark something in your mind

If you have the ability to move to different locations when writing, this could be something worth trying. You could move around to different rooms in your home or go outside of your home to areas that might inspire you. Another option is to change the way you work in spaces you’re familiar with, like cranking up the air conditioning or adjusting the lighting to bring about a new experience in an old space. Anything that changes up your routine and gets your mind out of its normal ways of thinking can be beneficial in getting you more in the mood to write. 

Storyboard Your Work

If you aren’t exactly sure what you want to write about specifically but you have a general idea in mind for how you want your writing to unfold, something else that you can try is to create a mood board or storyboard of sorts about what you’re trying to write. 

For some people, having something visual to look at while coming up with concepts or ideas for writing can really help. So if you can create a collage or an inspiration board that you can set up next to you while you’re trying to write, you might find the motivation you need to get started. 

If you know you need to write but you just can’t find the desire or motivation to do so, consider implementing some of the tips mentioned above to help you get yourself into the right mood for the work of writing. 

4 Tips for Organizing a Loved One’s Memorial Service 

funeral

When you lose someone you love, it can be one of the hardest things you ever go through. While physical injury may undoubtedly be painful, nothing compares to the pain of loss.  Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of losing someone is the fact that you still have to function. You still have to get up every day, feed yourself, and take showers, which can be almost impossible when you’re grieving.

To top things off, you may be responsible for organizing your loved one’s memorial. This can be an incredibly overwhelming task when you’re feeling emotionally charged. Organizing an event when you’re grieving can feel like an incredibly monumental task. To help you navigate the process, here are the best tips for organizing your loved ones memorial service, and making it a meaningful experience that brings closure to you and your loved ones.

Respect Their Wishes

The first step is going over the wishes of what your loved one would have wanted to happen. What were their personal beliefs and customs? Reflect on how they would have wanted to be remembered and organize the memorial accordingly. Choose music that they would have loved, read things that they would have appreciated, and add personal antidotes that can honor who they truly were. 

Choose The Right Venue

The venue you choose will play a significant role in how the memorial goes. Choose a meaningful place where you can honor the person you’re grieving.  Consider choosing a location that was important for the one you’re leaving behind.  Did they have a favorite park? Were they an active member of a certain community or cause?  Always consider locations that hold special meaning.  

At the same time, don’t forget the importance of logistics.  You want to choose a place that can realistically host the number of people you’re inviting and would be appropriate for a memorial to be held.  Not all locations are made for memorials, so always consider the context.

Involve Family and Friends

You can’t do it all on your own.  Don’t burden yourself with all of the planning alone.  Enlist friends and family members to get involved and help out with all of the various aspects.  This will ease some of the responsibility that can be overwhelming during the process.

Not only will this help you feel less pressure as you delegate tasks, but it will also give your family and friends a sense of purpose as they are involved in the process. This will make them feel more connected to the person you’ve all lost, and foster a sense of camaraderie as everyone navigates grief in their own way.  

Create A Program

While there are all sorts of aspects to organizing a memorial, from flowers to post-service food and drink, perhaps the most important thing you should stay focused on is a program.  The program should be personalized and include details about their loved one’s life.   Include photographs, and meaningful anecdotes that will honor the memory of your loved one and serve as a keepsake for people who bring it home.

3 Tips For Packing And Shipping Books

There are some things that are going to be simple and easy to ship or pack, like light items that don’t take up a lot of space. But then there are items that require a bit more planning and forethought in order to get packed and shipped correctly, like items that are a weird shape or that can be heavy, like books. So if you have a lot of books that you’re needing to pack up and ship, you’ll want to make sure that you go about this the right way so that you can avoid load shift and other shipping issues.

To help you learn how this can be done, here are three tips for packing and shipping books. 

Use Smaller Boxes

When you’re packing up most things, you might feel like the bigger the box you use, the easier it will be to pack and move those items. But with books, the opposite usually proves to be true.

Because books can be very heavy when you pack a lot of them together, you’re going to want to use smaller boxes than you may have originally planned. Ideally, you should choose boxes that are going to be easy for you or other other grip onto and hold because they’re likely going to be pretty heavy once you load them full of books. You’ll also want to make sure that the boxes are well made and sturdy enough to hold the weight of the books you’re packing and moving

Reinforce Your Packing Materials

Along with choosing boxes that are sturdy on their own, it’s also a good idea to reinforce the boxes with other packing materials before you start loading them full of books. This will give them extra structure and support for when you load heavy books from bottom to top of the boxes. 

To best reinforce the boxes you’re using to pack your books, you’ll want to add extra tape along the seams and the edges or corners. You can also add an extra piece of cardboard to the bottom or sides of the boxes so that there’s more structure as you both load and carry the boxes. 

Hardback Versus Paperback

When you’re ready to get the books loaded into the boxes that you’ve chosen for packing and shipping, you’ll want to pack them differently depending on whether the books are hardback or paperback. 

For hardback books, you can stack them just like you would on a bookshelf, with the spines against the side of the box. Their covers will give them added protection in this position. But for paperback books, you’ll want to lay them down on each other in flat stacks. This way, there is less of a chance of the books getting ripped or torn while they’re in transit. You’ll also want to make sure that you pack all of the books at the same angle. 

If you have books that you’re needing to pack up and ship to a new location, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how to best get these items ready to ship, packed into proper boxes, and kept safe while they’re in transit.