9 Ways to Make Your Yard More Awesome

If you’re going to go through the process of becoming a homeowner, then you may as well ensure that it’s as fun and awesome as possible. Your house is more than just a place to lay your head at night; it can function to make your life even more entertaining. Nice! One of the best areas of the home to do this is the yard. It has so much potential, yet most people don’t make the most of it. Below, we take a look at a few ideas that’ll ensure your yard is a place you’ll want to hang out in all summer long.

Clean it Up

Before you’re able to get to work on making your yard more enjoyable, you’ll need to first make sure it looks presentable. So get tidying! If you’ve been generally neglecting your yard in recent times, then it’s likely filled with junk, old debris, and other unsightly aspects. You’ll also need to get it to a base level of presentability. That could mean cutting the grass, or even feeding the grass some fertilizer if it’s not looking as healthy as it could do.

Paving and Decking

To up the comfort levels of your yard, look at having paving or decking installed. This will provide the hangout area for your outdoor space, and also make it more likely that you’ll spend more time in your yard, too. Decking in particular can provide an attractive addition to any outdoor space. If you’ve been looking for a project that’ll increase the appearance of your property’s exterior, then that could be it. Get in installed now, and you’ll be able to enjoy the decking all summer long.

Outdoor Furniture

You’re not going to just stand in your yard; you’ll want to get comfortable, feel relaxed, and spend the day soaking up the rays with your friends and loved ones. For that, you’ll need furniture. So look at adding some high-quality furniture that fits in with the overall look of your decking or patio. It’s a good idea to get a range of furniture types, too. Traditional outdoor tables and chairs will be a good start, as it’ll allow you to sink into all the joys of breakfast and dinners outside. From there, you’ll want to look at furniture that’ll make you more horizontal. There’s nothing like spending a warm summer’s day lounging around in your own yard.

Decorations

People often don’t think to put decorations in the outdoor part of their property, but they should — they can add a lot. By this, we don’t mean placing items around the grass and plants (though these can sometimes look good); we mean more like putting small decorations around your decking, especially towards the bridge between the interior and exterior of your home. It helps connect your indoor and outdoor spaces. There’s no need to go overboard or over think things — just small decorations, things you’ve picked up on your travels, and so on will look good.

For the Kids

If you’ve got children, then you’ll need to think about their needs when it comes to designing your yard, too. This will benefit you too — they’re going to be home all throughout the summer, and you’ll find it much easier to keep them entertained if there’s fun to be had in the yard. So what does this look like? It all depends on their age, but could include a swingset (this can also be a fun woodworking project if you have the right tools), slides, or just a designated area where they can play without being told off for destroying the grass.

Added Fun

It doesn’t take much to enjoy your yard. If the sun’s shining and you’ve got a comfortable chair to unwind in, then you’ll have a good time. But that doesn’t mean you should always settle for just doing the bare minimum. When it comes to your yard, the sky’s the limit! There are two main additions that’ll really bring your yard to life, especially during the summer. The first is a swimming pool. Visit https://cypresscustompools.com, and take a look at having one installed on your property. There’s much to love about having your own swimming spot, especially on a hot day! The second is an outdoor cinema. These are actually easier to have on your property than you might imagine. Once you’ve got one set up, you’ll be able to enjoy all the pleasure of watching a movie as you lie on the grass, with your loved ones all around, and with the stars shining overhead. Lovely.

Summer Nights

Not that you need to do anything quite as grand as setting up an outdoor cinema in order to enjoy a summer night. The classic versions of fun are just as good! And by classic version of fun, we mean a BBQ. There’s nothing better than setting up your BBQ, throwing down some lovely recipes, and enjoying a beer together as it cooks. To make it even more enjoyable, make sure you have some sort of sound system, so that you can create the right ambiance. You could host a BBQ every week, and it wouldn’t get old!

Deep Relaxation

Those summer nights will be fun. But the days? That’s all about relaxing. You can ensure you can enjoy many hours of deep comfort by adding a hammock to your property. These are affordable, easy to set up, and oh so comfortable — indeed, it’s a wonder why more people don’t have them.

Make it Beautiful

Finally, make sure you’re taking some time to make the yard look beautiful. Trim the hedge, cut the grass, and get some plants in the ground. It’ll feel like your own little oasis.

Conclusion

So there we have it. Don’t settle for a substandard yard area, when there’s so much potential. Get to work now, and you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor space all summer long. No-one ever regrets taking the time bringing it up to speed, and especially so when the sun is shining down.

Kerala & The Beef Burger

Well, it’s been a debate that has been going on for many years and will continue to be debated and argued for a long, long time. “Indians do not eat beef” – is what most foreigners think about our dietary habits. Not true! Heck, a lot of Indians also think the same thing. Not true! And when they see us Keralites or some others in India or maybe a few metro cities or the 7 North Eastern states, some of them – the normal ones – shrug it off as a cultural difference and never have a problem with it but some others – the fanatic assholes – start abusing us verbally and shout at us for not being real Indians.

Stupidity aside, Kerala, West Bengal and North-eastern states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. In Manipur, a royal edict banned cow slaughter, but beef is consumed widely. Now, what I find funny is that international brands like McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell etc cannot have beef products in India and Kerala. Instead they have chicken and veggie options. But if you are in Kerala – well I can say for Cochin in particular since I live here – you can eat beef burgers in various places. The Burger Junction, Double Roti, The Grill Lab, Burger Spot, Burger Queen, Burger Hut & Burger Hutz, Chai Kofi, Mash 24, Westley’s (former known as Burgeria) among others all serve beef burgers and some even have pork. No problem in getting our fill of beef burgers over here!

In terms of the best I would say that The Burger Junction is the most awesome with Double Roti come in at second place. The Grill lab is a place that I have only visited once and I would love to try more of their food but I guess they would rank high.

Movie In Lulu Mall & Taco Bell Lunch

After 10 months I finally went to Lulu Mall again. I just haven’t wanted to go there in a long while and the main reason is the crowds. I hate crowds, I hate too many people walking around for no reason and blocking your way as they walk in a horizontal row and you can’t pass by. I hate the endless posing around for selfies and stupid, silly smiles and pouts (ugh, get a life). I hate the kids running around unsupervised and making a ruckus. But, I wanted to watch Captain Marvel and since my preferred theater is Lulu Gold PVR (since Cinepolis had to close down due to violating the local fire & safety laws) which is in the mall.

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I woke up by 7 am and got ready by 9 am and waited to catch an Uber which would take me to Edapally. I got there and started getting a bad coughing fit because of some phlegm that was caught in my chest. I cleared my throat and coughed a few times and then looked for a cafe. They have Cafe Coffee Day, Costa Coffee and McDonalds and as Costa Coffee was kinda crowded I went into McDonalds. I had only a little cornflakes for breakfast and a coffee but I was hungry and definitely needed a coffee after all that coughing. So I ordered a Sausage (chicken as there are no beef or pork products in Indian McDonalds) and Egg McMuffin and a medium cappuccino. Ok, McDonald’s now I get the hype. I really liked both.

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After that I went to the washroom and then walked around a bit before it was just 10:20 am and I went to the PVR section, showed them my e-ticket and went to wait for a few minutes. I then got an ice tea (at the counter I was in there had some problem with the soft drinks fountain and only the Lipton ice tea was available. Now, I actually like ice tea and so I got that and a bottle of water and went to sit in my seat. As usual I had the next seat empty (even though it was booked) and there were were a few seats empty. I watched the movie and it finished at 1:15 pm, perfect time for lunch.

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I had wanted to go to Taco Bell ever since I heard about the inauguration of the very first TB outlet in Kerala. I finally got my chance. I went through the menu, not knowing what to get so I finally selected a chicken fajita burrito with Mexican fries and a Pepsi. The burrito and fries were really good and now I have another fast food done. I can’t wait for more from them. I walked a bit in the mall and left by 2:30 pm and was home by 3pm!

Waffles Combo

Best waffle recipes and toppings – go!

Chocolate chips and whipped cream. Oh, I can just feel the sin! How about Nutella, Banana and Peanut Butter? Hmmm hmm!

I’ve always seen fried chicken and waffles combos. They look amaz consolidated loan calculator ing. Seriously it’s kinda difficult to find someone who hates the combo and every version looks delish. Korean spicy chicken and waffles also looks amazing with the Korea spices and flavours mixing in with a fresh, hot waffles.

Waffles are perfect for breakfast but waffle tacos? This is a rare gem, friends. These bad boys are stuffed with cheesy scrambled eggs and topped with sausage, guacamole, salsa, grated cheese, cilantro, jalapeño pesto and pickled red onions.

Buffalo Hummus Chicken Waffle Bites – with all the deliciousness of buffalo chicken wings combined with spongy waffles and melted cheddar, these apps are superb for game day. And err…hummus is kinda healthy right?

Pepperoni Pizza Waffles – there should be a pizza version of everything and there should always be room for pepperoni — waffles included. When something is stuffed with stretchy mozzarella, salty parmesan and pepperoni, all is right in the world. A basic dough recipe spiced with basil and garlic replaces the usual waffle batter here.

The Great Indian Food Experiment

What’s the first dish that you cooked on your own? Was it good?

I first cooked eggs and in omelet form. Then perhaps scrambled and later on as bulls-eye / fried eggs. But the real test for every guy or girl in India is Maggi noodles. Which are ramen like noodles which you can add the powdered flavour or tastemaker as the noodles are being cooked in the boiling water.

Now the real experiment in cooking for me, and a whole lot of Indians in urban centers, starts with Maggi noodles. Ramen is so versatile that once you have the basic stuff from packets, the world is now your stage. You can add almost anything to it and see how it works and tastes.

Eggs, hen’s or duck’s is what I would usually add to my Maggi noodles (no matter what flavour packet it comes with). Onions, green peas, peppers, carrots are some of the vegetables that you can add to enhance some more taste. You can add cooked chicken or beef or fish or pork and it will become even more yummy.

Mushrooms are another options. Experiment and enjoy is what I say.

Prompt from 16 WRITING PROMPTS FOR FOOD BLOGGERS @ FoodBloggersOfCanada

Ava Lounge @ Radisson Blu

One of my wishes for this month was to try out one or two bars in 5 star hotels. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Radisson Blu. It was back in 2015 when it was still called Dreamz Hotel before the Radisson group took over, that I was in the place for attending an office function and lunch.

So I finally I joined my cousin Sujith, who has been here a couple of times before, to visit the Ava lounge bar. We had Amstel beers, a Long Island Ice Tea each then a 340 ml Budweiser while munching on a couple of plates of delicious Afghani chicken tikka, chicken seekh kabab and tempura prawns.

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When we went in at 12:34 pm the place was empty and we enjoyed the corner table and comfy cushiony seats we had. About an hour later some folks from a wedding party downstairs came in for some wine and beers and other stuff and were making a ruckus. But we still enjoyed the afternoon and I want to come in for more. Enjoy the pics!

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Dream Vacation

Where would you go on your perfect dream vacation

I would have to say that for the past 22 years or so it has been Canada. Now if you want me to be specific and choose an city/town / area or region/province it might be harder for me to say so. And that’s because I have so many places in Canada that I want to visit and see for myself. My love affair with Canada started in the late 90s just as I was turning 20 and started to see more documentaries, travel programs and read about places.

Then came the internet and I started to see images from these places and also finding out that several beautiful locations shot in some movies are actually shot in Canada. From BC to Newfoundland the 10 provinces are amazing places and each have their to go destinations that I find that I want to see. Even the territories with their harsh winters and scarce populations have things we need to see. There was a tv show set in Yellowknife which looks beautiful and a new destination hit me up.

If had to pick only one city in Canada, it might just have to be…….ugh, this is hard…..Montreal as it is just so unique with it’s mix of old world European architecture, French influence and North American modernness. It’s an amazing place. Second might be Vancouver. And on and on. But yeah, city would have to be Montreal.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF JANUARY WRITING PROMPTS at The SitsGirls

Cupcakes. Yay Or Nay?

Cupcakes! At one point of time, atleast in India, was the last thing that I would ask for as far as desserts were concerned. Or at a coffee shop! They were usually dry, flat on top and nothing much in terms of taste and all came in one flavour. You needed a cup of coffee or tea just to create enough moistness to push the stuff down your throat and into your stomach.

Nowadays it seems like cupcakes look so much more enticing and delicious and quite fancy. I guess the recent food renaissance in places like Cochin and the rest of India is the hero in this story. With so many channels that have international food, cooking & baking shows and with the internet having literally 1000s of cooking channels, it was inevitable that even the dry cupcake that we were used to would get a make over.

So like in many other countries, we have some places like Bloomsbury, Baker’s Walk & Bake Lady that will make for you a host of deliciously frosted & decorated cupcakes. I am not the biggest fan of cupcakes but I will try out the odd one here or there.

Prompt from 16 WRITING PROMPTS FOR FOOD BLOGGERS at The Food Bloggers of Canada