Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink




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How To Create The Perfect Outdoor Living Space This Summer

Summer is here and for most of us that means we'll be enjoying more time outdoors in our yards, on our patios, or on our decks. No matter where you live, you can enjoy a beautiful outdoor space all year round with a few well-placed plants, ambient lighting, comfortable furniture, and miscellaneous outdoor items. Creating the perfect outdoor living area not only gives you a place to retire to after an exhausting day, it also expands your overall living space, even if only for a few months of the year.

From plants to heating elements to lighting to furniture, you want to be sure every detail is considered. This is a place you'll be spending time in as well as entertaining in. So, you'll want it to reflect your personal style as well as be inviting and comfortable for you and your guests. The smallest details from pillows to plants shouldn't be overlooked.

Here are several ideas on how to spice up your yard into a place you will love spending time.

5 Fab Finds Under $50

There's certainly no shortage of fab finds under $50. With so many retailers slashing prices on summer clothes and accessories, there are lots of deals to be had online and in stores if they are open in your area. I've handpicked five favorites this week that you can wear now and well into fall to get the most bang for your buck.

Red, White, and Blue Desserts

I love the Fourth of July holiday. There's just something about it. A palpable feeling in the air that summer has officially arrived and is here to stay, at least for a little while. This year out July 4th festivities will look a little differently than they have in the past, but they will definitely be about great food, including festive desserts.

Today, I'm sharing a few of my favorite (and easy) red, white, and blue desserts to celebrate the holiday.

Best Online Reads

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. How to style your coffee table and bookshelves like a pro via Coveteur.

2. Ways to implement CBD into your daily routine via The Chalkboard.

3. Finally a face mask designed for working out via Bustle.

The Books I Read In May

May kicked off the unofficial start to summer reading season. I have a pretty ambitious summer reading list which I'll share later this week, but for now, we'll just have to chat about the three books I read last month. I tend to get stuck in a particular genre of books (I'm looking at you chick lit and psychological thrillers), but I am trying to break out of the pattern and read a variety of different types from non-fiction (biographies, true crime) to classic literature (Pride and Prejudice). I've included a wide variety on my summer reading list, and I can't wait to share it with you. For now, here are the books I read in May.

How To Create The Perfect Home Office

When the COVID-19 quarantine was handed down, many people found themselves in a situation where they were required to continue working...but they had to do it from their homes. Now that many countries are slowly opening up using a multi-phase approach, many employers are giving employees the option to permanently telecommute. For many, permanently working from home is attractive as it allows for greater flexibility to tend to your family as well as provide for them.

I've been telecommuting for eight years, and although I love the freedom and flexibility, it's not without its challenges. Here are three things that have helped me to effectively work from home, avoid distractions, and do my job successfully.

What We're Reading

This week I've taken a step back from the blog and social media to listen, learn, reflect, and take in all that is going on in this country with civil rights and racial relations. These issues have a long history in this country. And while I know a lot more now than I did even a week ago, I still have a lot to learn. One of the ways I am empowering myself to become better educated as well as support BIPOC is through books. I'm using my love of reading as a mechanism to become anti-racist and to support Black authors.

Here are the books we are currently reading in light of the current state of events:

Where To Buy Gifts Online

For most of us, the lockdown is still in full swing, which means stores, malls, and boutiques are closed to keep us safe and to limit the spread of COVID-19. However, summer is a busy gift-giving time of the year with college, high school, and middle school graduations, Father's Day, and birthdays. Just because stores are closed doesn't mean you can't shop. There are plenty of opportunities to purchase the perfect gift online. You just have to know where to look.

Whether you are buying from brands directly, online retailers and shops, local shops that offer e-commerce, or online catalogues, you'll find an array of gift options online to fit any budget or occasion. Online shopping has become incredibly popular within the last few years and especially so within the last few months.

Getting a Mortgage in Your 40s: What To Know

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By the time many of us reach our 40s, we get the impression that we should be feeling and acting… well, older. Even though many of us have kids, we still feel much the same way as we did in our 20s. And our lives tend to be a little less financially ordered than perhaps our parents were at the same age. But fear not! That doesn’t mean that we're financially irresponsible. It’s simply that times have changed. When our parents were younger, mortgages were easier to come by and property prices were infinitely more affordable.

There was a time when even those with a modest income were able to own their own homes. But times have changed, and soaring property values combined with lenders being a lot more cautious after the financial crash of 2007-2008, many GenXers and older millennials have rented their entire lives. And this has had a knock-on effect on all of their finances. Since rent repayments are typically higher than mortgage repayments, many people in their 40s find it difficult to budget and save.

Best Online Reads

This week's favorite stories from around the web focus on educating ourselves about racial injustices and how to take the first steps to create equality for all.

1. How white parents can talk to their kids about race via Huffington Post.

3. How to safely protest amid the pandemic via MindBodyGreen.