Why are there so many sad Christmas songs, anyway?
With the warm weather headed for Australia, it’s time to bring out the outdoor furniture, clean off the patio and dust off the picnic basket. There are no excuses to stay inside and forego the summer sunshine this year.
When you’re eating outside, a rustic or eclectic style is fitting. If you have an outdoor space, like a patio or a backyard, all it takes is some minimal sprucing to set up a comfortable and chic dining area, whether it’s just you, your family, or a gathering of friends.
Simple, budget-friendly DIY tips
Whether you’re in a rush, on a budget, or you want to keep your sprucing simple, these quick tips are for you!
Furniture and dishes
Dining outside doesn’t require fancy furniture. Previously used indoor furniture can be repurposed and used as outdoor furniture with a fresh coat of paint or some added cushions. Even a wheelbarrow with a board on top or an old workbench can be used as a table.
In place of a tablecloth, use brown (or any colour) paper. It’s easy to clean up, you won’t ruin a tablecloth by using it outdoors, and it adds to the rustic, outdoor vibe. Using one color allows you to keep your tables looking uniform, even if they’re mismatched.
To keep the paper tablecloths from blowing away, use real dishes with some weight. They don’t need to be the same; any dishes in summery colors or floral patterns will add to the eclectic style of the outdoors.
If you need to seat a lot of people, opting for a bench in place of individual chairs can allow you to fit more people. Benches can also be used for multiple purposes – sit them next to a table for a meal, or around a fire pit for cocktails or cooking on the fire.
Antique outdoor furniture is often made of metal, and can be spruced up with a fresh coat of paint, and made both comfortable and modern with an added pillow or cushion.
Privacy and ambiance
If your outdoor space lacks a private patio or yard, or if it doesn’t have the style you want, you can build yourself a private, shady sanctuary with a few simple tools.
A large umbrella not only provides shade from the hot sun, it will also add a pop of colour and inject some of your personal style into your yard.
If you have a yard with neighbours nearby, or a patio that backs up to your home, planting a row of trees, bushes, or potted plants with some lattice can provide a privacy wall without installing a complete fence around your yard.
Sometimes, the heat and sun of the day is intense. Take advantage of the cooler evenings, and instead of running your air conditioning, head outdoors! A string of paper lanterns hung in the trees, or citronella candles can create the ambiance you’re looking for without attracting bugs. Battery operated candles may be a better option if you’re serving cocktails, but citronella candles or a fire may help ward off bugs.
If you have room in your yard or on your patio, a small fire pit or a chiminea can provide light and heat while providing more protection than an open bonfire.
The portable outdoor meal
Whether you’re traveling, short on time, or haven’t updated your outdoor space at home, picnics are a great way to have a portable outdoor meal anywhere, at any time. All you need is a blanket, a bag or basket, and a few simple tools and easy meals.
Remember: Enjoying the summer outdoors are about having fun! Your personal style and DIY spirit is all you need to share a meal with your loved ones out in the fresh air.
Image via Flickr.com
Winter has hit and the odd glass or two of red wine goes down a treat in the chillier weather. A few glasses of wine later and a quick trip to the bathroom, you notice your lips are stained with splotches of red and purple; you’re clearly suffering from a case of red wine lips. Anyone can fall victim to such a wine travesty from wine connoisseurs to the classiest of wine drinkers.
Let’s be honest, red wine lips are not pretty, nor do you want to blatantly admit to your boss the next day that you’ve had a big night on the red wine when he/she notices the red stains on and around your lips. The wine stain evidence can be hard to scrub off your precious wee kiss makers so here are 5 ways to avoid the dreaded red wine lips.
1. Constantly applying lip balm or lip-gloss is an easy one, as 9 times out of 10 you’ll have a stick of lip balm in the bottom of your handbag. By regularly applying the lip balm you’ll be creating a barrier between your lips and the wine, avoiding the stain. Just make sure to brush your teeth when you get home so all traces of red wine are brushed off of those too!
2. Red lipstick! If you can’t beat it, match it. This trick is perfect to cover up the evidence if you’re already well into the bottle of red wine and you have a spunky date across from you. You’ll look smart, sexy and your date will be stopping at nothing to get those lips closer to them.
3. Brushing your teeth, tongue and gently exfoliating your lips prior to drinking will smooth the surfaces of your lips and mouth to which wine pigments might cling. It’s not promised to last more than one glass, but it’s better than nothing. Plus make sure you do this tip at least an hour before you plan to drink wine otherwise you’re going to have some very nasty tasting wine! Toothpaste and wine do not mix well with each other!
4. This one’s a double whammy. Drink lots of water! The water will help wash away the traces of wine on your lips and in your mouth, plus it’ll also help lessen the wine headache the next day. If you have the option of sparkling water the carbonation in the water will help scrub those pearly whites even further.
5. Wine Wipes come in cute little compacts of 20 wipes and a mirror. The orange blossom flavoured wipes help to remove traces of wine on the lips and teeth in one easy swipe. The flavour of the wipes has been specially designed to not interfere with your palate during wine tasting too.
Natalie: ‘At married friend’s dinner parties – they are always trying to set you up!’
Karina: ‘At the beach. If your both there, you obviously have at least one thing in common, love for the beach, and you get to see them without clothes!’
Suzie: ‘A cake shop around lunch time is the best place because spunky guys get hungry too.’
Olivia: ‘At the football. Most of the guys have hot bodies because they usually play footy themselves.’
Kymberley: ‘The best time is when you are not looking. That’s when you are at your most confident, when there is no stress to impress.’
Helen: ‘The annual Birdsville Races – the ratio of women to men is definately in our favour and it’s such a happy, fun outback atmosphere!’
Janna: ‘The laundromat – then you can check out if he separates his colours and whites and what type of undies he wears!’
Kathryn: ‘You can’t go past a cool bar. But that’s only if you are looking for a fling. For a serious guy never underestimate the friend of a friend.’
Brenda: ‘At Salsa classes! Yummy guys that know how to move, who will let you lead the way, and if it all doesn’t go to plan, you’re doing yourself a favour by shaping up your own bod!’
Lyndel: ‘Travel overseas. Everyone is in the same frame of independent mind – no everyday hassle… Easy!’
Frances: ‘Gotta be the butchers, honest to god, I’ve met two so far, a man loves a good steak and he’s always looking for someone to cook it for him!’
Angela: ‘Work – we spend so much time at work, there aren’t a lot of other options! At least we know they’re employed too!’