How to Take Great Sparkler Pictures with Your Phone

Sparkler pictures - writing with light
Photo: Amber Dickson

Sparklers pictures are a fun and festive part of any 4th of July gathering.  Find out how you can document the day by taking long exposure photographs on your smartphone.  Your Instagram feed is going to shine!           

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Sparklers in hands
Photo: Amber Dickson

Safety First When Creating Sparkler Pictures

The most important step is insuring your safety and that of the people around you.  Always make sure any children are closely supervised.  Sparklers can reach temperatures above 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and need to be handled carefully.  Continue Reading

The Ultimate Guide to Road Trip Games

Road trip games: playing tic-tac-toe in the car.
Road trip games are a lifesaver, whether you're trekking cross country to sight-see or simply cross-county to see the grandparents, you're a college student on a butt-numbing quest to see how many states you can pin in a single weekend, or you're simply idling in traffic on the way to the airport.

Sure, you can flip through Facebook or have the kids watch Frozen for the 1,000th time, but why not use some of that road time to have a little fun while fostering a deeper connection with your fellow travelers?  Continue Reading

What Should You Do This Month? Throw a Backyard Solstice Party to Celebrate the Start of Summer

Backyard Solstice Party

While many Americans think that summer starts on Memorial Day, it officially begins on summer solstice, usually June 21 in the Northern hemisphere. The longest day of the year seems like the ideal excuse for a party, so here are some ideas for a backyard celebration of midsummer. And if you don’t get around to throwing a summer solstice party, there’s no expiration date on these outdoor party ideas!                

 For these summer solstice party ideas, I wanted to spotlight some of the things that are better in summer than any other part of the year. Continue Reading

This Simple Trick will Make the Ice in your Cooler Last Longer

This Simple Trick will Make the Ice in your Ice Chest Last Longer
Photos by Holly Wade

Summer is the ideal time of year for family outings, beach days, picnics, adventures in the park and so on. You probably bring along an ice chest to keep your drinks and a few snacks cold, but in the hot sun, that ice will be melted in no time. One sure-fire way to make the ice in your ice chest last longer is to add a simple household item…salt. Rock salt, to be exact. Continue Reading

Yes, You Can Have a Great Vacation on a Budget. Here’s How.

Tips for budget travel

Who doesn't love to travel? Even if it's for one overnight stay, a quick vacation is good for the soul. There's a common misconception about the cost of travel and that vacationing is only for the wealthy, but you can have a good time for less! Here are a few tips and tricks to help you plan a smashing vacation on a budget! 

 

 

1. Airfare/Transportation – A novice jetsetter might think to quickly just check out sites like Travelocity or Expedia, but you can find better deals on airfare through sites like Cheaptickets.com or CheapOAir.com. Continue Reading

How to Trick Yourself into Drinking More Water

How to drink more water
Shutterstocksebra

I lived in Florida for about 10 years, so I am more than familiar with heat (and humidity!). When it's over 90º for 70% of the year, you learn how important it is to stay hydrated. Since moving to the Midwest where the temperatures are a little less dire, I've started slacking on my water game. My body isn't as loud when it tells me I need to drink more water. But being able to stay hydrated is so important, especially in these warmer summer months. Continue Reading

Summer Bucket List: 10 Things You Should Do Before Summer is Over

Summer activities that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer

While you’re suffering through a heat wave, it may seem like summer is lasting forever. But as the back-to-school ads remind us, it’ll be over before we know it. So if you’re determined to make the most of summer while you can, here are ten classic summer activities to make sure you fit in before fall.         

 

 

Spotting a meteor in a starry night sky is a summer activity that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer #stargazing #stars #meteors
Photo: Juskteez Vu 

1. Go Stargazing

The peak of the Perseid meteor shower is coming up in mid-August (the nights of Aug. Continue Reading

Let’s Hit the Beach! Double DIY: Popsicle Tote and Watermelon Towel

DIY popsicle tote and watermelon beach towel

One of the things we look forward to most come summertime are visits to our local beach. Lying back on a towel with our toes in the warm sand and the sound of waves in the background is pure bliss.

But once we head to the water for a dip and emerge from the ocean to stroll back to our towels, we often find ourselves looking around in confusion because our little bundle of belongings looks just like every other bundle on the beach! Continue Reading

Ready, Aim, Fire! How to Stock a Campfire Box

Roaring campfire
Photo: Amber Dickson

Whether at the beach, the woods, or your own backyard, a campfire is a guaranteed way to relax and enjoy your favorite people.  Take a little time to stock a campfire box with a few of the following fire-starting supplies.  It will make lighting a campfire quick and easy and therefore more likely to happen. Your future (smoke-scented) self will thank you.         

CAMPFIRE BOX CHECKLIST 

Materials needed for this project
Photo: Amber Dickson

1.  Newsprint

If you still receive your news in print, stash a stack in your box.  Continue Reading

Summer Living: How to Throw an Amazing Backyard Movie Night

There's something uniquely romantic about watching a movie outdoors. While drive-in theaters are uncommon these days, you can still experience a movie under the stars by setting up your own outdoor movie theater for a backyard movie night.

We've put together a list of everything you need for an amazing backyard movie night, from the best outdoor projector to the ultimate movie snacks. Once you have everything you need for your outdoor movie night, you'll be all set to make it a regular summer tradition.  Continue Reading