Posts tagged Summer
The Importance of RSVP’ing
RSVP – short for “Répondez, s’il vous plait” – means to “please respond.” It is your invitation to let them know whether or not you plan on attending their function. Not replying to an RSVP can be interpreted as rude as they’re busy planning the amount of food to serve to guests, party supplies, drinks, etc. By withholding your RSVP, you’re preventing the host or hostess from accurately preparing for the function.
Being a Timely Guest
Party hosts often need to time out food service so that hors d’oeuvres are fresh and ready just when the guests are arriving. Being on-time is crucial – you don’t want to arrive late. You don’t want to add extra stress on the cook of having to keep the food warm. Plus, if you arrive early, simply mingle with the other party guests.
Bring a Gift for the Host
Taking a bottle of sparkling wine or a few pre-mixed cocktails would be great choices for the host or hostess. For more creative and fun host gift ideas, take a look at our feature, here.
Be Prepared to “Schmooze”
As the saying goes, don’t be a party pooper. Prepare yourself by thinking of a few easy conversation topics – recent movies, funny work stories and recent news are great starting points. Remember to avoid controversial topics like religion and politics.
Don’t arrive at the party with an empty stomach. You don’t want to arrive ready to devour everything in sight. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to drinks, only grab two – a party with an intoxicated person is never fun.
Help with the Clean Up
Once the dinner party is done, offer to help clean up. If someone has gone to the effort of cooking a delicious meal, they shouldn’t have to do the dishes, too. Step in, and offer to assist – even if they protest against it.
Write a Thank You Note
Finally, remember to write a kind thank you note to the host or hostess for inviting you to their party.
What guest tips do you have? Sound off in the comments below!
Party without the “buzz”! Mocktails, or mock cocktails, are beverages that do not contain alcohol. They’re ideal for entertaining the entire family, and are a great alternative for party guests who prefer to not drink alcohol.
Lifestyle expert Shoana Jensen shared a few of her secrets when it comes to creating the ultimate mocktail:
1. Make sure your mocktails are served in a fun glass.Don’t give just the drinkers the fancy glass – the mocktails drinkers are a big part of the party, too.
2. Plan ahead for the people who don’t want to consume alcohol. Find a great signature drink for them to enjoy that’s just as festive as the other cocktails that you are serving your guests. Everyone should feel like a special guest at your function.
3. Don’t forget to have a great garnish for the mocktails!
4. Make sure that you have lots of water available for everyone to drink – especially during the summertime, when it’s hot out.
Mocktail Inspiration Ideas:
A limeade is the perfect, thirst-quenching drink on a hot summer day. Mix some freshly-squeezed lime juice, a few sprigs of mint, cane sugar, and sparkling water for a quick-and-easy backyard refreshment.
If you love sangrias, substitute wine with seltzer water and grape juice frozen concentrate; and mix in thinly-sliced apples, sectioned orange segments, cranberries, grapes, and other seasonal fruit that you may have on-hand.
Shirley Temple is a classic beverage that you can put your own spin to. Mix lemon-lime soda, ginger ale, grenadine, and a maraschino cherry for garnish. For your own twist, add some orange juice for a zesty citrus flavor.
A banana smoothie is an easy way to entertain the whole family on a hot, Sunday afternoon. Chances are you have all of the ingredients in your kitchen! Blend 2 cups of vanilla yogurt, sliced bananas, ½ cup of honey, a dash of vanilla extract, and ice.
Next time you’re celebrating a birthday, consider making mock champagne. Mix some ginger ale, pineapple juice, and one bottle of sparkling white grape juice for the perfect drink to toast to up at the cottage this summer.
Mojitos are another great thirst quencher. To make them alcohol-free, combine club soda, lime juice, mint leaves, and simple syrup. Garnish on top with a lime slice, and for an added twist, include lime sherbet or sorbet to the mix.
For the tea lovers out there, try making a soda pop tea! Steep your favourite loose-leaf tea (fruity teas work best), add agave nectar to taste, chill with ice, and top it off with sparkling water.
Finally, take a look at our delicious mocktail recipes from our previous shows:
Repost from Cityline.ca
Here’s my list of must-have gadgets to ensure your kids and guests stay entertained, be it in your backyard or at the cottage. For more detailed information, as well as a demonstration, watch the full segment below.
1) Pool Jam Waterproof iPod Ready Wireless Speaker Set – $79.95
Break the pool silence with a speaker to get everyone rockin’ and rollin’. It is a floating waterproof speaker, featuring a blue mood light for night-time swims, and a powerful speaker worthy of some serious wet-and-wild fun!
You can adjust the volume on the speaker itself while in the swimming pool and the iPod speaker has an innovative scan system that will automatically lock onto the strongest signal. The end result, your tunes stay clear and static-free up to 150 feet away!
Simply connect your iPod, stereo, MP3 player, or any other audio source using a standard 3.5mm or RCA output to the wireless transmitter base. Press play, and kick your party into high gear! The volume can be controlled on the speaker itself while you swim in the pool, songs will play in order of your song playlist.
2) Sony DSC-TX20 – $399.99
Whether you’re going for a walk in the park, or going to the lake, you can use this Sony camera with confidence. The Sony DSC-TX20 digital camera is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and definitely slim enough to slip into your pocket. This tough-and-tiny camera can handle the elements of an active lifestyle.
The camera comes equipped with a 16.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor, and a full HD 1080i video camcorder. You can shoot up to 10 frames per second (fps) so a moment is never missed. Then, you can playback your memories via the camera’s large 3.0″ touchscreen Xtra Fine LCD.
3) Toshiba CAMILEO BW10 – $149.99
As Toshiba says, “Weatherproof your digital experience. Designed with active lifestyles in mind, the new Toshiba CAMILEO BW10 is ready for whatever life throws at you.”
This camera is ideal whether you’re out snorkeling in the Caribbean this summer, or rumbling down the ski hills this winter! No matter where you are, this multi-purpose camcorder will protect itself from all types of weather conditions; not to mention its HD capability. The camera is waterproof up to two meters and it comes equipped with video stabilization and 10x digital zoom, just so your viewers don’t become queasy!
4) GoPro Hero HD – $199.99
This high definition video camera is small and wearable, keeping your hands free while living your active lifestyle – be it mountain biking, surfing, or parachuting.
The camera helps people capture and share their lives’ most meaningful experiences with others. GoPro’s HD HERO line of wearable and gear mountable cameras is used collectively by more consumers, professional athletes, and video production professionals than any other camera in the world.
You can shoot video in multiple resolutions, so whether it’s in your backyard swimming pool, or ATV riding in the country, you’ll have the best possible quality video.
- 1080p = 1920×1080 pixels (16:9), 30 fps, 15 mbit/s data rate
- 960p = 1280×960 pixels (4:3), 30 fps, 12 mbit/s data rate
- 720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 60 fps, 15 mbit/s data rate
- 720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 30 fps, 8 mbit/s data rate
- WVGA = 848×480 pixels (16:9), 60 fps, 8 mbit/s data rate
5) Schwinn Tango 20-in Folding Hybrid Bike – $199.99
This bicycle is no ordinary one at the slightest. The twenty-inch folding bike by Schwinn allows you to maintain an active lifestyle, even if you live in a small apartment or condo. The stylish, lightweight aluminum folding frame assembles easily.
Other features include:
- A 6-speed Shimano Revo shifters
- Front caliper brake and rear band brake
- Rear Shimano Tourney derailleur
- Includes fenders and rear rack
- 20″ (51 cm) tires, 16″ (41 cm) frame
6) MOTOACTV 8GB – $249.99
MOTOACTV is Motorola’s cutting-edge GPS fitness tracker. It comes with a heart rate monitor, smart MP3 player, and best of all – it is sweat proof. MOTOACTV comes with Accusense technology that tracks your running, cycling, and walking data. It publishes your distance, speed, calories burned, and heart rate on the web, via your MOTOACTV Training Portal.
MOTOACTV comes with the following features that will appeal to your fitness goals:
- The audio coach helps keep you moving and grooving on your walk, run and ride with updates on your pace, split times and more.
- The 1.6” full-colour touch-screen display is sweat-proof, rain-resistant and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass that auto-adjusts for indoor and outdoor lighting and can withstand all workout condition.
- 8GB of storage for endless playlists and FM radio capabilities just in case your playlist gets tired before you do.
Are there any gadgets that you can’t live without throughout the summer? Have your say! Drop us a line in the comments below.
[With files from Homewetbar.com, Sony, Toshiba, GoPro, Schwinn, and Motorola]
As seen on CityLine – April 16, 2012
As always, you can re-watch previous episodes of CityLine on Citytv.com, or via the Citytv Video iPad/iPhone app! CityLine airs 9am/4pm EST on Citytv in Toronto. Check Citytv.com for air times in your city.
Wake-up Light Plus
Schwinn Tango 20-in Folding Hybrid Bike
Samsung Galaxy Note
MOTOACTV 8GB GPS Watch
Logitech Harmony 900 Remote
Toshiba Camileo BW10 Sportscam (Video)
Cyber-shot Digital Camera TX20 (Photo/Video)
Pool Jam Waterproof iPod Ready Wireless Speaker Set
GoPro Hero HD (Active/Wearable)
The summer is well underway, and whether you’re headed to a foreign destination, or simply heading to the cottage, these applications are must downloads for you lifestyle-app lovers out there!
Road GPS Navigation – NavFree Live GPS USA/Canada – FREE –iTunes App Store
NavFree is what the makers call “the world’s first FREE ‘onboard’ professional GPS navigation software, with turn-by-turn directions, voice guidance, auto-rerouting, live ‘Google’ Search, for the iPhone and iPad.”
Maps are stored on your device therefore no data connection is required to use its core functions like map routing.
There is an easy to use interface including: Easy and intuitive menus, Large buttons designed for easy use on the iPhone/iPad, Day & Night maps for switching to low glare maps for safer night driving and more.
This Canadian app does take upwards to half a gigabyte of storage space as the maps are stored on-board, and up to 2 gigabytes for the United States app. Various City and country downloads are available, so you can choose how much space you want the application to take up.
Reading – Amazon Kindle – FREE – iTunes App Store/Android Marketplace
When the Amazon Kindle first came out, people purchased many books for their device. When the iPad came out, people wanted a way to import said books on to their iPad. Luckily, the Amazon Kindle for iPhone, iPad, and Android allows you to do just that. The Kindle store offers approximately ten times more titles as iBooks. Apple only claims “tens of thousands of books” in comparison with Kindle’s near half million.
New Kindle books and New York Times bestsellers typically cost $9.99, but you can also find popular books in the $5.99 to $12.99 price range—on par with prices for iBooks. For paid books, a “Get Sample” feature is made available, and you can read a bit of the book to see if it really fits your reading style.
Amazon includes WhisperSync technology on their Android and iPhone application, that will automatically synchronize your last page read, bookmarks, notes, etc. to your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, and Android. This allows you to start reading on one device, and on another, pick up where you left off. Perfect for relaxing at the cottage, or the beach!
Movies – Flixter with Rotten Tomatoes – FREE – iTunes App Store/Android/BlackBerry/Windows Phone/Mobile Web
It is the perfect app to watch movie trailers, find showtimes in your area and even find great free reviews from Rotten Tomatoes.
Upon launching the application, you can easily access features like the top box office leaders, theaters in your area, upcoming movies and new DVD releases, a DVD catalog with over 50,000 films. You can watch high quality trailers and video clips for over 10,000 blockbuster and indie flicks, read movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and more.
You get the option to search for movies by popularity, rating, and title, with showtimes in your area made available. You get an opportunity to purchase movies tickets for a particular theatre in your area.
The iPhone, iPod touch and iPad app has a very powerful social networking component including Facebook Connect, allowing you to review and add to your list of favorites, right from your handheld. Once you log in with your Facebook account, you can rate movies, mark films you want to see, and share ratings with your friends via their “Want-to-see” list. Whether you’re at home, or out traveling, kick back, and watch a movie!
These applications are just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of thousands of apps including restaurant locating apps, golfing apps, and more! What are your favorites out there? Leave a comment below! I’ll compile them on a future post!
Be sure to check out the rest of our Summer Tech series!
Repost from TechnoBuffalo.com