8 Brilliant Guidelines for Easy Summer Entertaining

During the summer everyone seems to want to take advantage of the hot weather and the warm evenings. This means a lot of hangouts, get-togethers, and parties. If you want to do some summer entertaining of your own, you’ll want to make sure you give a great performance for your guests to keep them coming back again for more!

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How To Make Your Summer Barbecues Healthier?

Summer is all about having fun in the sun. You will agree upon the fact that everything becomes a lot better during the summer season. Climate is better, food is better and every single day of the week becomes a lot better than the freezing winters.

With summer comes the joy of grilling food in the backyard barbecues that means lots of burgers, hotdogs, steaks, ribs, briskets and other scrumptious delights on the grill. If you have a pellet smoker at home and are looking to grill one of the aforementioned foods on it, then let’s just hold it right there.

Instead of consuming so many calories, which each of those aforementioned foods possesses, why don’t you switch to something healthier? You can cook healthy meals on the barbecue if you want, so why have those arteries clogging meals when you can have something healthy in order to stay fit.   

There are simple swaps that you can consider in order to lighten up your grilling dishes. I have shared a healthy summer barbecue menu with leaner proteins, which are low on sodium and calories, so having these will keep your body healthy for the entire summer.

Replace beef burger with a turkey burger and skip the bun


The juicy beef burger is always on the people’s list when it comes to backyard barbecue because it is so delicious. The addition of fresh lettuce, sour pickle, juicy tomatoes and cheese in the burger makes it even more tempting, but the overall count of calories goes to 564, which is way too much in my opinion.

Replace beef burger with a turkey burger with all other ingredients, as it will just add up to 300 calories. When compared to beef, turkey is a leaner meat, so it is lower in fat and higher in calcium. Replace the buns with collard greens, which is a high fiber vegetable that consists of antioxidants as well. You just need to grill turkey burger patty and then, place it in the wrap along with pickle, tomato, lettuce and cheddar cheese.

Replace bratwurst with turkey hot dogs


Bratwurst is a sausage that is made of pork, beef or veal. The dish has basically originated in Germany but is extremely popular in the US. It tastes great but is not good for health, so it is better to replace it with a turkey hot dog with some mustard sauce and sauerkraut.

Where a bratwurst would add up to 373 calories in your body, a turkey hot dog will be light on your body as it contains only 193 calories. Moreover, the sodium content is low too, so you are not going to feel salt-bloat in the morning that people usually feel after having barbecue food. Moreover, the sauerkraut is a great source of probiotics, thus helping you digest the food easily.

Replaces Steak with Tuna Kebabs


Grilling steaks are one of the common things that you would see in the majority of US households during summer weekends, but you don’t make the same mistake. Try tuna kebabs instead of steaks, as the former is leaner than beef and contains lesser fat. The difference between a steak and tuna kebabs can be determined from the fact that the former contains 2.5 times more calories than the latter.

Moreover, tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin K, so you are eating nutritious food. But, don’t over-consume tuna thinking it is healthy for you because the mercury level in your body may rise due to over-consumption.

Replace baby back ribs with marinated chicken


Baby back ribs may be full of juices, but it is not a healthy food, and you know it too. It is prepared with a good amount of sugary BBQ sauce, which does no good for your body. By replacing baby back ribs with marinated chicken, you will consume 300 less calories.

A plate of baby back ribs has around 700 calories, whereas a plate of grilled chicken is going to add just 320 calories, so the difference is pretty evident. But, keep in mind that the chicken is not marinated for a long duration, as that will decrease the percentage of antioxidants in the sauces. There are hundreds of BBQ chicken recipes that you can try, so just forget baby back ribs.

Don't compromise the taste


These are some ideas to make your summer barbecues healthier, but there is one thing I want to add that by replacing the usual dishes with the ones I’ve mentioned above, you are not making any compromise with the taste. These new dishes will taste equally good, if not better, plus these ensure that you are consuming less fat and calories.

Author Bio: Monica Henin, the author of this post on how to make your summer barbecues healthier is a passionate food writer and a great cook. She has written a countless number of blogs and articles on healthy recipes and food tips, which have inspired millions of her readers all around the world. Check out the best of her work at Addonkitchen.com.

6 Multipurpose Furniture Ideas for Your Backyard

Beautiful summer evenings call for some serious backyard fun! However, bulky outdoor furniture and equipment can take-up space fast and leave your yard looking cluttered. Luckily, you can make the most of your space without sacrificing any luxuries using these great multi-purpose outdoor furniture ideas!

LIGHT-UP OUTDOOR END TABLES


Light-up outdoor end tables, such as the one below, come in a variety of styles and colors. Most of these tables are battery-powered, which means you can move them easily around the yard at your leisure. These end tables are highly functional in that they serve both as an end table for drinks and snacks, and a soft-glowing night-light, which enables you see your belongings in the dark, while still being able to enjoy the starry night sky.

This versatile LED cube can be used as a table, a storage unit, a seat, an ice cube bucket or a flower planter. 

The color can be changed remotely so you can give your backyard a different atmosphere throughout the night.

There are several sizes to choose from and some of them don't double up as a storage unit. Check the details before ordering. 

They are available at Amazon and the price depends on the option you choose.

COOLER TABLES


Cooler tables feature impressive designs that make it easy to both serve and store cool drinks while enjoying your outdoor space. These compact units are the perfect space-saving solution for balconies!

For entertaining, pop up the platform and place ice and beverages in the insulated compartment below. The platform then functions as a space for holding and mixing drinks. When not in use, the platform lowers to seal-up the ice compartment and transforms into an end-table! This is the perfect addition to any pool party.

This little cooler looks very modern and can hold up to 60 cans.

There are several colors to choose from so they will fit in any setting. 

They are available on Amazon for less than $90.

COOLER CABINETS


Like cooler tables, cooler cabinets provide a unique way to keep drinks cold while offering a dual function. The top serves as a counter and underneath, the cabinet can be used to store items such as drink glasses, outdoor utensils, or grilling supplies.

You will need a bit of space to fit this one in your backyard but you will find it very handy.

The wide counter space is ideal to mix drinks and prepare food.

The top is lifting to conceals your cooler and there's plenty of room inside.

CONVERTIBLE OUTDOOR CHAIR


This adorable chair may be small, but it’s big on innovation. It can be transformed in a multitude of ways to serve as a chair, a sofa, a bed, a dining table, an end table, or an ottoman. These chairs are a fun and unique backdoor idea for both children and adults alike!


You will find the full article on Trendir.

DUAL FUNCTION BENCHES-to-PICNIC TABLE


A picnic table is always a useful addition to any backyard barbecue, but when not in use, it can take up a lot of space. This dual function piece of furniture solves the problem completely! Easily flip the backs of the benches forward to make a picnic table in a snap when its time to eat. After dinner is done, flip them back again to form two individual benches that can be placed out of the way, in separate areas of the yard.

This bench from Lifetime is a very popular option.

It comes in brown or gray so it will fit anywhere nicely.

You need two units to make a full-size picnic table.

DUAL PURPOSE FIREWOOD RACK AND DECORATION


When it comes to summertime bonfires, having a ready supply of firewood is essential. But let's face it, having a pile of wood in your backyard doesn't look very attractive.

This uniquely designed firewood holder solves this problem for you by turning your wood pile into a beautiful backyard centerpiece.

It also makes a wonderful gift and is available on Amazon for less than $80.

TO WRAP UP


As you have seen, there are a number of ways you can improve your backyard instantly by just choosing the right piece of furniture.

These wonderful ideas have been provided for us by British Solomon.

She is a contributing writer and media specialist for Jacksons Home & Garden. She regularly produces content for a variety of home decor and lifestyle blogs, based around creating stylish and functional solutions for homes.

We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did!

8 Patio Swings That Will Add Comfort to Your Backyard

backyard swings

Did you know that spending more time outdoors has loads of scientifically-proven benefits, from reducing stress to improving physical health?

That's right - and even half an hour in your backyard could help.

However, you might not be keen to spend much in your yard if it isn't a comfortable place to be.

Investing in a patio swing is a wonderful way to add a little luxury to your space - you'll soon be outside enjoying the sunshine all year round.

Keep reading for details on nine of the best patio swings, from fancy outdoor sofas to traditional wooden log swings.

1. Porchgate Cupholder Console Cypress Porch Swing


This wooden porch swing has a lovely traditional look, and it's perfect for couples or families.

The swing consists of two separate seats, so both occupants can enjoy their own personal space.

In the center of the swing, there's a handy wooden cupholder with room for two drinks. Rather than being forced to place outdoor tables at either side of the swing, you can simply store beverages right next to you.

This swing is perfect for relaxing with a tall glass of lemonade on a warm summer's day.

You can find it on Amazon and get it shipped straight to your door!

Click here to shop

2. Mainstays 3 Seat Porch & Patio Swing


The Mainstays 3 Seat Porch and Patio swing is a really versatile option that's ideal for large families or homeowners who like to entertain.

The swing is large enough to comfortably seat three adults or several small children, and the material is soft and comfortable.

There's an awning up above, which offers much-needed protection for the sun on those scorching hot days.

The seat also converts into a hammock-style swing, making it easy to kick back and relax after a long day entertaining guests.

Amazon offers 5 different colors to choose from.

Click here to check them out!


3. Lakeland Mills Cedar Log Porch Swing


Not keen on swings that look like outdoor sofas, and want a more rustic option?

This log swing from Lakeland Mills could be a perfect choice.

It's made from an attractive natural wood, and the frame of the swing has a traditional log design which makes it look unique and interesting.

The swing is made from white cedar, meaning it's resistant to creepy-crawlies, rot, and decay. It's environmentally friendly and easy to assemble.

Overall, this is a nice durable option that will last you many years.

You'll find it on Amazon for under $200.

Click here to check the current deal!


4. Sorbus Hanging Rope Hammock Chair Swing Seat


Looking for an awesome porch swing for one?

This hammock chair swing from Sorbus is the best way to relax in style.

It's made from cotton and polyester, has a deep, comfortable hammock-style design, and is filled with super soft cushioning.

Want to relax to the max?

With this swing, you really can - and it's easy to hang from trees anywhere in your backyard, offering loads of versatility. Simply pick your favorite spot and install the most comfortable swing seat you've ever seen.

This fun option is perfect for kids and adults.

Amazon sells them for less than $50.

Order yours here!

5. Coral Coast Casco Bay Resin Wicker Porch Swing


Looking for a swing that's light, summery, and makes you feel like you're on vacation?

This wicker porch swing from Coral Coast might be perfect.

Made from pretty white wicker, the swing looks bright and welcoming and easily matches the rest of your garden decor.

You can add an optional cushion in a range of colors for extra comfort and style, or stick with the traditional plain wicker look. It's an all-weather swing, so you won't have to worry about rot or water damage.

This swing would look gorgeous next to a pool or water feature, and it's large enough to comfortably seat two.

Amazon will ship it to you for free.​​​

Click here to check it out!

6. Outsunny Convertible


Prepare yourself for the most versatile patio swing you've ever seen.

The Outsunny Convertible has a smart 3-in-1 design and can be used as a swing seat, a protective canopy, or a bed, depending on your current needs.

When used as a canopy alone, the Outsunny Convertible offers a good amount of shade that's ideal for picnics or playtime with kids. Curtains around the edge of the frame offer protection from bugs and create a fun mini-gazebo.

With the swing attached, the seat has room for three people and is soft and comfortable. It's quite high off the ground, making it perfect for taller guests.

Finally, the convertible can be used as a relaxing day bed, ideal for chilling out in style on hot days.

This is the ultimate patio comfort for you and your guests.

You can find it on Amazon for a very good price.

Check it out right here!


7. Hanging Chaise Lounger Chair Swing


This is a super-cool, modern option that's ideal for trendsetters.

The swing comes with a metal frame, so you won't have to worry about finding a place to hang it. The seat itself is long enough to allow you to stretch out and relax, and the canopy will protect you from sun damage.

Unlike other patio swings, the chair comes in a bright green color, teal or red/orange, which is a wonderful way to add a pop of color to your yard.

This chair is perfect for anyone who loves great design.

Check it out on Amazon here!

8. Burgundy Belleze


The Burgundy Belleze is a pretty swing seat that's ideal for adding color.

It comes in a deep, rich shade which will add warmth and style to any yard. There's plenty of room for two to three people, and the large canopy keeps you comfortably shaded.


The frame is sturdy and easy to assemble and you will love the softness of the seats. 

Find it on Amazon here!

Why Buy Patio Swings for Your Backyard?


Patio swings are an awesome place to relax with guests, spend time with family, or unwind at the end of a long day.

Choose a seat that offers shade, comfort, style, and convenience to maximise the time you spend in your backyard.

Want more patio-enhancing tips? Check out our blog.

Blackstone Outdoor Pizza Oven – Propane Pizza Oven

Backyard and patio cooking is always a great pastime, especially for those of us who are diehards and even love cooking outside during cold weather.

Cool, clean, crisp air combined with the great smell of hot cooked food of any kind is an awesome pairing.

So, if you’ve already got your patio set up with a great barbecue grill, what’s the next thing that can really step up your outdoor dining experience?

If you’re a pizza lover – of any kind, style and flavor – the thing that may come to mind is cooking those delicious pies outside.

You’ll be happy to know that there are many choices on the market, from portable units to custom-built brick installations.

In this review, I’m going to talk about the Blackstone Outdoor Pizza Oven and dive into many of its great features. It’s an easy addition to your patio set up and I think you’ll find it well worth your time to consider it.

If you’re ready to expand your outdoor chef capabilities, read on…

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How to Fix a Hole in an Air Mattress in 4 Easy Steps

Waking up in the middle of the night on a deflated air mattress is an inconvenient experience especially when you are on a camping trip. Detecting and fixing any holes in your air mattress is very easy, and perhaps it is the best way to ensure that your trip is not spoiled due to trivial reasons.

This article provides a systematic way that will help you to fix a hole in an air mattress or an air float.

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How to Pick the Best Fire Pit for Your Backyard

fire pit

Imagine curling up with a glass of wine around a blazing fire pit.

Sounds more like something you find at a romantic hotel getaway, than in your own backyard.

The truth is a backyard fire pit can bring a sense of warmth and luxury to any outdoor space. They are perfect setups for cooking or simply for ambiance. The presence of fire can even reduce your blood pressure.

Fire pit options include the convenience of gas power or the traditional charm of a wood-fueled pit.

No matter which style you choose, it should match your personal wants and needs.

Let's review the world of outdoor fire pits and find the best fire pit for you and your family.

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Uuni 3 Pizza Oven: Best Portable Wood Pellet Pizza Oven?

Uuni 3 pizza oven

You’ve done the traditional tailgater barbecue and it was fun. But everyone is on the act now and you’d like to do something different this football season.

What would be a good game day treat for this season?

How about cooking real wood-fired pizzas to go along with those ice-cold artisan brews that you’ve packed? It’s so easy with the Uuni 3 outdoor pizza oven. In 60 seconds you could turn out hot, tasty pizzas and be wowing the crowd just like your favorite team.

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Green Thumb: Your Guide to Backyard Care

lawn care

You've spent a long time -- not to mention a considerable amount of money -- designing your dream backyard.

But if you don't know how to properly take care of it, you'll see your flowers wilt and your investment go down the drain.

Plus, gardening and other basic backyard care have been shown to have numerous mental health benefits. This means that tending to your yard won't just ensure your home looks its best -- it will also help you to de-stress.

So, where should you start when it comes to backyard care?

Read this post to learn the most important basics. Hopefully, by the end, you'll finally get the green thumb you've always wanted.


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Camp Chef Pizza Oven – Our #1 Choice for Outdoor Pizza Oven in 2017

Patio party coming up? How about making it a pizza patio party?

Now we're talking. Combine the best combination of good friends, good food and a great location and you're going to create some lasting memories.

How would you like to do this without spending a fortune on building a special installation in your backyard or on the patio?

Even better, how about something that you could take camping, tailgating, even to the beach?

Read on, because our Camp Chef Italian Artisan Pizza Oven review might just be your ticket.

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