Backyard Pub

If you have ever visited a tropical resort, you probably remember spending a good part of your days or nights sitting on a bar stool at an outdoor bar, sipping cocktails and eating bar food. There is just something very relaxing about drinking and eating at an outdoor bar. It feels like an escape from the everyday stresses of life. But unless you can afford to regularly take expensive trips to these tropical resorts, these memories are few and far between.

When having over guests, an outdoor bar that has bar stools and cocktail supplies is a place where everyone wants to be. An area with pub tables and chairs is a nice guest-friendly feature. And adding a lounging area with a sofa and soft chairs adds yet another option to the outdoor entertaining experience.

An outdoor home bar design can have all of the comforts of the indoor variety, adding a sense of openness and unhurried relaxation to the bar design. It gives guests a natural gathering point where they can stand with drink or snack in hand, chatting without feeling out of place. You can also think of an outdoor bar as kind of an extra dining table, where it makes the perfect place for a relaxing, casual breakfast or lunch.

Designing a bar for an outdoor space allows for many more design ideas than a bar inside the house. Because it is exotic by nature, they give you a great creative outlet. For example, you can design it with a theme in mind, stringing colorful lights around the area, giving it a festive feel. Outfitting the bar like a grass hut is another option, giving it that tropical look. Decorating it with sports paraphernalia like a sports bar is yet another design theme. The options are unlimited because you are not forced to stick with a similar design of the inside of the house.

Because you want your bar to be a fully functioning part of the whole patio or entertainment space, it is important to make it integrate within the whole patio design. You do not want it to appear like it was just added on as an afterthought.

Think about where you want to place the outdoor bar. Should it be a freestanding one, or should it be attached to a cooking station or grill. You might place the bar between the grill and a dining area, where you are able to use it as a pass-through or buffet station. If you intend for it to be a wet bar, think of placing it where it would be easy to add plumbing.

For the bar itself, make it useful as well as nice to look at. Choose a surface that is easy to clean. A sink with faucet will allow for easier food prep and cleanup for larger parties. Storage drawers are very nice to have. Other options include a refrigerator or icemaker under the counter, or a beer kegerator within the unit.

The cost of purchasing an outdoor bar varies a great deal. Small, freestanding bars can be found rather inexpensively. Larger bars that attach to an outdoor kitchen and have all the bells and whistles can be extremely expensive. It all comes down to your needs, your budget, and your imagination and creativity.

Billy Bristol is the editor and chief BBQ pitmaster for TexasBarbeques.com, an outdoor cooking and entertaining website devoted to backyard living. TexasBarbeques.com has been providing barbecue recipes, cooking tips, grilling techniques, and backyard entertainment ideas since 2005.

Texas Barbeque [http://www.TexasBarbeques.com]

Billy is also the writer and editor for YourHomeBar.com, a website devoted to Home Bar Designs, Ideas, and Plans that make your home entertainment experience richer.

Home Bar Ideas [http://www.yourhomebar.com]

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Backyard Stones

If you are looking for a creative way to give your patio or garden a cozy ambiance with a touch of sophisticated elegance that is usually not found outdoors, then backyard stone fireplaces are an outstanding choice.

Outdoor fireplaces made of beautiful natural stone are becoming increasingly popular among smart home owners. They serve as a focal point for any patio or yard, drawing attention and garnering compliments from guests. Not only is this a great draw for a party, but it also can dramatically increase the value of your home.

But that’s just the beginning; stone fireplaces for your back yard are as practical as they are beautiful. They add a cozy, comfortable ambiance to your patio that will make you relish the time you spend outdoors. Plus, the heat they generate will be appreciated on cool evenings.

Furthermore, stone fireplaces make delicious outdoor cooking units, replacing the standard unattractive grill. Barbequing, smoking meat, toasting marshmallows, and campfire-style cooking are just a few of the fun possibilities for cooking on your outdoor fireplace.

With any patio heater or other source of open flames, safety is a top priority. Natural stone fireplaces are leaders in safety because of their sturdy construction, which prevents them from being tipped over, and their fireproof construction. Stone is both fire and weather resistant, which makes it a durable addition to your backyard that can last a lifetime. With that kind of durability, why would you want to pay for a patio heater that needs to be replaced every few years?

Outdoor cooking and entertaining is a hot trend among homeowners because it is a fun, healthy, and relaxing way to utilize the outdoor areas of your home. From elegant marble to rustic flagstone, a backyard fireplace made from natural stone will make a lovely enhancement to your home that will provide joy to your family for years to come.

The Outdoor Heating Guide is a premier resource for patio heaters [http://www.outdoor-heating-guide.com/documents/patio_heater.html], outdoor fireplaces [http://www.outdoor-heating-guide.com/documents/outdoor_fireplaces.html] and fire pits [http://www.outdoor-heating-guide.com/documents/outdoor_firepits.html].

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Backyard Fight

While a lot of people are growing grapes in their backyard as a hobby, many still do not realize that it does have a number of benefits. The most obvious benefit has to do with money, in which growers can either save or earn money from the grapes they grow in their garden. What is more important though is the fact that growing grapes actually has health benefits as long as growers consume them, of course.

As you push a grocery cart down the isle of a local grocery store to buy grape products such as grape jelly, juice, and wine, you will notice that they come at a relatively expensive price. You may be able to afford them every once and a while but frequently stocking them in your fridge may prove to be too luxurious for wallet. Even regularly buying bunches of grapes to serve to your family at the dinner table is too expensive. But if you are growing grapes in your backyard, you will spare yourself from all this expense and be able to constantly fill up your fridge with home-grown grapes and home-made grape products.

The type of products that you can make with home-grown grapes depends on the variety that you are growing. Some grape varieties are able to produce red wine (red grapes), while others can be used to make white wine (white grapes). These varieties can’t be eaten raw though. There are also grape varieties that could be served fresh for raw eating (table grapes) and still be used to make grape juice and jelly. The most versatile varieties – whether classified as white, red, or table grapes – can be used to make home-made wines, juice and jelly, as well as be eaten fresh off the vine.

When growing grapes in your backyard then, a smarter decision is to grow the more versatile breeds. It really depends on what you will be using the grapes for. If you are growing grapes only to make wine, as this is the most expensive by-product of grapes, then it would be best for you to grow wine grapes for the best-tasting home-made wine. On the other hand, if you only want to satisfy your children’s appetite for peanut butter and jelly and grape juice, table grapes are the best varieties that you can grow because of their naturally sweet taste.

As a grape grower, you also have the option of selling your grapes right after you harvest them. Growing grapes is a tedious process that can be pricey at the beginning. Selling your first two harvests may be able to make up for these expenses and earn your family a few extra dollars to splurge with or save.

Better and improved health has to be the best benefits of growing grapes in your backyard. A popularized version of how grapes can be beneficial is the said effects of red wine on the heart. In two studies published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in their July issue, researchers from the University of Ulm in Germany found that the resveratrol found in red grapes effectively protects against heart disease. The study also verified that resveratrol is good in the fight against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes type 2.

You don’t have to make wine out of the grapes growing in your backyard to enjoy the health benefits of grapes. According to experts, resveratrol is found in the skin of all grape varieties. Eating them raw, therefore, will not affect their significant impact on your and your family’s health. Aside from the disease-fighting resveratrol, grapes are also rich in antioxidants which can come in handy when you need a boost in your immune system or if you want to delay the aging of your body.

Growing grapes in your backyard definitely has a lot of benefits. Undeniably, growing grapes is a win-win situation that will benefit not only you but your family as well.

Charles Perkins is a grape growing expert. For more information on the growing grapes in your backyard [http://www.grapegrowingfun.com/grape-growing-trellis/], visit [http://www.grapegrowingfun.com/]

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Backyard Basketball Download

Once up on a time children were less sedentary, and navigating video games and downloading music weren’t considered participatory sports. For children who are actually interested in sports these days it makes sense to provide them with an environment to succeed. At Outdoor Courts Ltd, our backyard basketball courts, tennis courts, putting greens, and a host of court accessories mean your children can work to excel at the games they love anytime day or night in the comfort of their own home.

Our multi-purpose backyard courts host 15 different games ranging from basketball and tennis to volleyball, badminton and more, and bring the games of youth alive in a fun and exciting way. With a growing percentage of children heavier and unhealthier than at any other time in our history, a backyard court offers the convenience and incentive to make physical exercise a consistent part of their lives. No matter what sport your child excels in, we can offer a setting in which the ability to improve and excel is quite literally built in to the product.

What do we mean by built-in? Only that our surfaces were designed specifically to reduce stress and fatigue and to absorb impact, preventing injuries and soreness and encouraging your child to stay active. In growing children such a low impact surface is especially important. Good health isn’t the only thing our surfaces promote. Our state of the art suspended tile flooring ensures better traction and a more consistent bounce off the dribble every time. The end result is maximum performance allowed each time your child takes the court, providing a forum in which improvement is only a matter of putting in the work.

If your child is already involved in sports, you know firsthand how athletics can promote not only health but also discipline and focus in other walks of life. If you’re still trying to nurture a love of sports and physical activity in your child, know that the exercise habits they develop today will go a long way in determining their health and happiness as adults. Either way, fun and games just out the back door is a benefit for any child big or small.

Encourage your child’s love of sport and provide him or her with an avenue toward excellence on a court quite literally built for success. More importantly, let them enjoy the games they love for the most important reason of all; because they are fun. When fun and sport are quite literally out the back door, the possibilities are truly endless.

Brad Privett is the owner and operator of Outdoor Courts [http://www.dallasbasketballcourts.com] LTD. of Dallas. He believes that a family that “plays together, stays together”, and as a result, this promotes a healthy lifestyle and strong family ties.

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Cheap Backyard Wedding Ideas

Weddings during the summer season are vibrant, colorful and fun and there are so many summer wedding ideas that you can choose from. Summers are full of shine and warmth, glow and beauty and this is the time for using and experimenting with all sorts of colors.

Although weddings are normally an expensive affair but that doesn’t always mean that all weddings have to be lavish when you can cut down on your expenses and still have a lovely ceremony with a decent budget too.

You can have a cozy ceremony in your family member’s or even a friends backyard, the one who has an expansive and a beautiful yard. If you are quite close to any of your family member or your friend, then you wouldn’t have to shell out a penny apart from mowing the lawn.

A green and fresh flower garden with a pretty little water fountain would be an addition and will ooze out a fresh and mellow summer feel for the guests with summer wedding colors in bloom as this small venue can be as lovely as renting an outdoor professional venue.

Cheap summer wedding ideas do not imply that your wedding would be a second grade affair – you just have to be more receptive of other ideas and put your creativity and imagination to use.

Rather than engaging a professional catering service from outside for your wedding, you can get assistance from your loved ones, who are excellent cooks. It will greatly reduce your overall budget.

Stick with summer wedding flowers which are seasonal because importing flowers anytime always increases the budget as non-seasonal are expensive than the seasonal ones. You can pick two kinds of colorful flowers for your summer wedding bouquets.

Artificial flowers like the ones made out of silk are cheaper than the natural flowers and look just as beautiful.

Cakes in a square shape are normally costlier per slice wise than the round cakes. There are many people at the wedding who might not eat the cake at all, so you can let the baker you hired have a small figure of guests than the exact number you’re expecting to be there at the wedding.

For example if you are expecting about 150 guests, then ask the baker to bake a wedding cake for about a 100 or 110 people, which will really cut your cost and it’s one of the best summer wedding ideas for cost cutting. Cutting the cake is a ceremonial event, so the slices per guest can be kept modest.

Instead of employing professional help for the decor, do the summer wedding decorations on your own, by involving your friends or family and apart from lowering your costs you will have a lot of fun doing so.

Get the wedding photo and video package combined as it will cost you less than booking both the things separately, whether you book it from the same or different studios. Print the placement cards and invitation cards from your own computer system. The stationary for the same can be purchased from any good stationery supply shop. You will save a modest amount.

If you have a receptive and an open mind, there are so many affordable summer wedding ideas for you to pick from. Spending lavishly does not always ensure that you’ll have a stunning event.

The effort, love and time you put in to the process is what that’s going to matter by the end of it and so does the presence of your loved ones.

Visit us now at [http://www.the-wedding-information-site.com] where you will get access to practical and informative ways and ideas to help you plan your dream wedding.

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Pinterest Backyard Ideas

Pinterest has rapidly grown into a social media must-have for most businesses. People are spending more and more time “pinning” images from around the web of products that they love or want. This is leading to a lot of potential sales for businesses.

If you are still on the fence about signing up for a Pinterest account for your company, don’t wait any longer, the time is now! It is a way to tell a unique story of your business while engaging with thousands of target audience members.

Before you get started, make sure you know the answers to the following questions.

1) What is our goal with Pinterest?

There are plenty of reasons for your business to set up a Pinterest account, but you need to figure out what your specific goal is for having one. Do you want to strengthen your brand image? Do you want to increase the amount of web traffic to your site? Are you looking for a new way to get the word out about your products?

2) What types of boards should I create?

The types of boards that you create should reflect your brand. For instance, if you are a landscaping company, you will want to have boards with images of different plants and flowers, gardening tips, layout plans, and backyard setups.

3) What types of images will work best?

The last thing you want to do is come across as spammy. Pinterest boards are not just a place to display your goods. It is also a place to pin the things that reflect your business style and motto.

Choose images that are bright and colorful. Images that create visual interest will attract the most attention from users and get repinned often. Don’t just use pictures of your products, but of people putting those products to use.

4) How do I add images?

If you are using an image that you found on the Web, like from your own website or blog, then you can use the Pin It bookmarklet tool. You can also upload images directly from your computer. It is always better to use images of your own rather than generic stock photos that can be used by anyone. This helps make your brand stand apart.

5) Can other people pin to my company boards?

Pinterest now allows you to create boards that have multiple contributors. This lets you invite clients, employees or customers who are following you to contribute to select pin boards on your account. This is a great way to build an interactive community around your brand.

6) Should the company follow other users?

It is definitely a good idea to follow other users when you are on Pinterest. That shows that you are not just using this platform as a way to promote your products. Find others who share similar interests and you can get some pretty good ideas about what people are looking for and any topics that relate to your industry.

7) Should we pin videos?

If you have a series of how-to videos or even some funny videos of people using your products, they can do well if you pin them to one of your Pinterest boards. Make sure that they are informative and entertaining. This is a good way to bring your brand to life for fellow users.

8) What is the biggest mistake businesses make?

Do not fill your boards with your own products. This is considered a no-no by Pinterest marketing guidelines and it also makes you seem like a spammer. Being too self-promotional will not win you a lot of followers on this social network. Make sure that you are finding ways to make your business seem relatable and unique in creative ways.

Are you ready to set up a Pinterest business account? What are some tips you have for other businesses?

Dawn Pigoni of Be Social Worldwide is a certified social marketing specialist and a social media virtual assistant. Dawn offers superb social networking, social marketing and social bookmarking to WAHMs, Small Business Owners, Internet Marketers, Affiliate Marketers, and Coaches who desire to bring stunning internet presence through social networking to their businesses. Get Dawn’s free report, Social Networking today & see how she can assist you with being Social Worldwide!

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Backyard Graduation Party Ideas

High school and college graduations are looming on the horizon. These are special and momentous events for both you and your graduate. Planning you graduation party should be a fun and exciting project. Don’t let your graduation party get lost in the crowd; with some early planning you can host a fabulous celebration. Here are some great tips to make your party one of a kind. 

Having four children who graduated two years apart, I have been planning high school or college graduation parties for over a decade. The two most important pieces of advice I can offer is to set a budget and plan early. Figure out how much money you have to spend on your celebration. This is critical, as your budget will determine the number of guests you can have and the venue you will use to host your party. Many families have their parties out at restaurants, in halls or other locations. These will cost more money. With four who graduated within a 7-year span, we knew with our oldest that we couldn’t set a precedent that we couldn’t continue with the rest. So the idea of the “Backyard BBQ” took shape. It’s easy, casual and relatively inexpensive. Plus the outdoor theme allows for a larger guest list for your graduate. Our kids invited their friends, fellow grads, teachers, coaches, and of course, all the family. We ran the graduation parties like an open house. 

Once you have a budget and have decided on your venue, then settle on a date and do it early. You will be competing with lots of other parties this time of year and by getting yours on the calendar first you will avoid conflicts. Next decide on invitations. You can order them online or buy them in the stores. However to save money, you can make them yourself on the computer. There are numerous invitation products available in office supply stores that will give you templates to make your own. Be creative… add graduation clipart, a logo from the college or high school of your graduate or even inset a photo! Unless you have room in your house or are having it off site, ALWAYS plan a rain date. Also make sure you have an RSVP with a date deadline and add your email as well as your phone number. A ‘regrets only” RSVP system makes for tricky planning. Recently, I have even seen people use free online invitation services. 

For food, your options are numerous if you are hosting your graduation party at home. You can have it catered, you can cook or our family favorite for our barbeque theme is hamburgers, hot dogs and heroes. Add some salads, fruit platters and a graduation themed dessert and you have an easy, inexpensive menu. We set up a “stadium” food booth near the grill. My husband and his buddies were grilling to order, with the condiments and rolls set out at the booth. You make a poster and name your area. For example, at our party for our youngest who was going to DePaul University in Chicago.. we set up the “DePaul Dug Out” and decorated the table with the school colors. For our son, who was headed to Rutgers University, we had a “Knight Stand” as their school mascot is the Scarlet Knight. For another of our parties, I bought cases of bottled water, took off the store label and made my own personalized labels celebrating the graduates! 

For your graduation themed dessert you can always make or order a sheet cake. However, I have received great kudos with my graduate cakes. I make dozens of cupcakes and make tags on card stock with the high school or college logo. When our daughter was headed to Chicago for college, I made tags with pictures of Chicago landmarks. I then tape the tags to a toothpick and insert into the cupcakes. Make sure your tags are small enough that they don’t cause the cupcakes to tip over. Display on a platter and you have a unique dessert plate. 

One last area that I always budget for is graduation party favors. I have always felt like all the guests should take home a fun gift.  There are some creative and unique ideas for making your own graduation party invitations and favors, a fun graduation party decoration and some suggestions for graduation gifts at  Celebration Ideas Online. There is also an idea on how to host your college graduation party right on campus. These ideas are sure to make your party a one of a kind celebration for both your graduate and your guests. 

Carol is married with four grown children who loves to celebrate everything! Their family celebration experiences and traditions can be further viewed at http://www.celebrationideasonline.com There are some great ideas for creating lasting family memories!

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