Tag Archives: Summer

It’s still nice enough for a Swim, right?

Pool party collage

 

(Grill – Coleman Portable grill, Cooler – Coleman 62qt Cooler, Cups – 18oz Hefty Red Solo Cups, Pool Volleyball – Dunnrite AquaVolly Swimming Pool Volleyball Set, Pool Toy- Waboba Pro Ball, Drink Dispenser – Creativeware 3-Gallon Drink Dispenser)

 

It’s only about half-way through September, but there seems to be a shadow gradually creeping over these sunny days, almost as subtle as a slight change in the weather. Actually, since I’m talking about Winter, it has everything to do with changes in the weather. Yes, that’s right, “Winter is Coming” and it will be here before any of us expect it. Our brothers and sisters living in the northern regions of the world are probably already feeling the first signs of the impending coldness. I, however, am fortunate enough to be living in the American Southwest where I will still be able to enjoy almost-summer type weather. So what does that mean? Well it means for the next few weeks I will be enjoying every last bit of pool party season as I can, before winter snatches it away for several months. So as a last hurrah to pool party season 2014 I decided to make a small list of pool party essentials.

And before I go any further, yes this list features a lot of food and drink related items – Why? Well people spend the pre-summer months getting into shape, and getting a beach-worthy bod to look good at the pool, however, from what I have seen, part of this is because many people like to eat and drink like hippos when at pool parties and by the end of summer have probably put back a some of the pounds they lost a few months earlier.

So, here is my list of ideas for pool party items:

1. The portable grill. This is probably the the third time this item has been included in a list, and it’s not just because I really like barbecuing and food (which I do), but it’s because these grills are just so convenient for almost any situation. From barbecue parties, to pool parties, to just regular parties – any time food and socializing are put together, a portable grill will be there no matter what the venue to save the day and crank out some delicious grilled food.

2. 62qt cooler is just the right size to cool as much food and drink as you want at a pool party. And trust me, you will want fresh food and cool drinks by the pool. After a couple hours in the sun, by the pool you start to get a little hungry and your throat seems a little parched. Well if you ever find yourself in that situation, you’ll be thankful that you decided to bring a cooler, so that you can gulp down a cold drink and snack on a few munchies without having to go anywhere special. And if you have a portable grill like from #1 then you might find that there’s always room for a few frozen steaks or burger patties in the cooler.

3. Red Solo Cups. Do I need to explain? Okay, for the sake of thoroughness I will. Red solo cups are simply the universal american symbol for a party, at least according to Toby Keith. They are an inexpensive alternative to having glass cups and are disposable, which means that you don’t have to wash a few dozen cups when you’re finished. What’s more is that pool parties tend to have pools filled with water and glass has a tendency to break. Broken glass isn’t really a good thing to have at the bottom of a big pool filled with water because you wouldn’t be able to see if you were stepping on it. Luckily, you won’t have that problem with the plastic cups.

4. A drink dispenser is almost essential for any party scene. Simply choose your favorite drink, pour it into the drink dispenser and fill it up with ice, then viola, everyone can enjoy your beverage selection. These large drink dispensers are also great for mixed drinks like lemonade, iced tea, or basically any drink where a small pitcher just won’t do the job.

5. Pool Volleyball. Well any type of sport will do. Pool Volleyball just seems like loads of fun. The important thing is to find a game to play in the pool with your friends, whether it’s pool volleyball, pool football, pool baseball (if your pool’s big enough), pool soccer (if you can manage to figure out how to do that), or even water polo (if you’re a really good swimmer).

6. A Waboba. If you’re reading this thinking “What’s a Waboba?” don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was either until a few weeks ago. A waboba is probably one of the funnest yet simplest pool toys I have ever seen. It’s basically a small ball that can float on water and is soft enough to be thrown around at high speeds without seriously hurting someone. What’s even better is that the waboba can skip on water, similar to throwing a really flat and smooth stone, making it even more fun to play with.

So if you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy a pool for a few more weeks go out and do it!

And if you are someone who is already feeling winter’s chill, don’t worry, at least you’ll have something to look forward to!

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Back To School Basics

Back To School Basics

 

(Paper – College Ruled, Pens – G2 Ballpoint, Pencils – Mechanical BiC pencils, Binder – Organizing Folders, Backpack – Classic JanSport, Notebooks – Mead Spiral Notebooks)

Summertime Sadness (Sorta)

Well it’s that time of the year again. Near the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. Take a trip to your local Target or Walmart and you’ll see signs that Summer is nearly over. And I’m not speaking metaphorically – you will literally see signs marking sections that are specific to “Back to School” items.

For all you parents out there “Back to School” is the start of the daily routine of dropping the kids off and picking them up several hours later and possibly attending PTA meetings every few weeks – just another list of things to add into your already busy schedule. But if you are a kid or even a young teenager, school is most likely at the center of what you do. It forms the basis of your social life, teaches things you may or may not find useful in the future, and hopefully opens your mind up to the possibilities around you. We’ve all been there and whether you love it or you hate it, school forms the basis of our formative years. For those of us lucky enough to have the motivation and means to pursue a higher education, schooling becomes even more important. In college almost everything you do will involve school and I’m not just referring to studies and homework. The people you hang out with will more than likely be classmates, roommates, or people in your dorm. You may find yourself working one or two jobs at a time to pay off those pesky student loans, to keep up with housing payments, to afford school books, or even to buy groceries. Basically school becomes your main focus (hopefully) and for good reason: it’s a springboard to future career tracks as well as a realm of various possibilities even if you think that the material you are learning is “useless”.

If you’ve managed to read this far without getting bored, you’re probably wondering what that rant had to do with “back to school” stuff. Well the answer is simple: Since schooling is so important (as previously indicated), it makes sense to be prepared from Day One. All of the items on this list are oriented to college students, with a focus on practical, inexpensive, and light weight items.

The first thing that you need obviously is something to hold your books, supplies, and if you have one, a laptop. A rugged yet lightweight backpack is ideal and if you’ve got a tight budget, I’d recommend the Classic JanSport backpack. It’s really the basic backpack that both looks the part for a college student and is durable enough to last the year.

So backpack, check. Now for items useful in classes, you’re obviously going to need something to take notes with and on. Mead Spiral Notebooks are great to take to class because they don’t take up space in your bag and because they can serve as both your notebook and your source of lined paper for written assignments or essays. If you’re not the person that likes to keep different notebooks for different classes, then you can keep all your notes together in one big Binder. All your assignments and notes will be organized and available in one place. Of course if you don’t buy a spiral notebook, you will need to stock up on a lot of college ruled paper. As for writing tools, I prefer G2 ballpoint pens simply because they are relatively inexpensive and are very smooth to write with. I would however advise buying a few cases of these pens as they may get lost or broken frequently. If you need a pencil, say for some sort of math class, I would recommend buying Mechanical BiC Pencils in bulk. These pencils are very convenient as you don’t need to sharpen them, they’re almost always ready to use, and they use number 2 pencil lead (the type that most scan-tron tests need).

These are of course just the basics of what a college student will need for classes, but other than course-specific books or materials like calculators, they really are the only items that every class requires.

Speaking of books, many college students complain about how expensive their textbooks are at the college bookstore. Well in case you don’t know, Amazon has a special offer for college students that sign up for student memberships, with discounted shipping and other great benefits to help you save some money. For some text books, they even have a “rent” option that allows you to order a book for the semester at only a fraction of the normal cost.

While summer is coming to an end and you are making all your preparations for the coming Fall season, don’t forget to enjoy yourself the last few weeks of vacation. After all, Summer’s not over just yet.

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Summer Reads

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I’m not usually the type of person who could be found at home engulfed in a novel, but these summer reads have taken me on multiple adventures. If you’re in the market for a new book, check out one of these six books, I promise you’ll be just as hooked as I was.

The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson is set in 1727. Hodgson takes you on a wild journey through Tom Hawkins life. Tom refuses to follow his father’s footsteps and become a country parson, as he loves a life full of wine, beautiful women, and gambling. His interests soon get him in trouble with London’s debtors’ prison and a murder mystery unfolds. Although this book is not my typical read, it is a summer must.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris is a thoughtful novel about the mysteries of modern life. It follows the story of Paul O’Rourke, who is addicted to technology. When he encounters a fake website, Facebook page, and Twitter account created in his name, he finds that this online impersonation of him might actually be better than the real thing. Just like a little Catfish story!

Sara Shepard is the same bestselling author as the series Pretty Little Liars. Her novel, The Heiresses, has the same mysterious plot line. The Saybrooks are a beautiful and wealthy family but are troubled with many mysterious deaths. I won’t say any more about this thrilling mystery, just find out for yourself what is happening in this twisted story.

Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith is her first published piece, but nothing short of a rich novel. Smith’s story takes place in Utina, Flordia. The small town has failed to see any economic growth in years. She takes you on a journey with the Bravo’s, a wild family that encompasses the love of the town.

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon is about the death of printed material and the power of the Internet. The main character, Anana Johnson works with her father at a dictionary producer, but when her father goes missing, her journey goes well beyond her control. It may be a metaphor for what is happening in the world, but you tell me.

Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende is a suspense novel featured in the New York Times. It is a coming of age story about Maya Vidal, who was abandoned by her mother. Her grandmother raised her in Berkeley, California. When tragedy strikes, Maya turns towards illegal substances and crime. Her wild life leads her to a remote island off the coast of Chile…but you’ll have to read more to find out what happens next!

Whether you enjoy reading or not, these books will all take you on a journey. Give them a try or research other books you might enjoy!

 

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