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Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

Get More Than Fresh Air From Outdoor Activities

Posted on: May 19th, 2014 by Quik Shade

joshua-tree

Getting into the outdoors and taking a breath of fresh air is one of the healthiest things that someone can do for themselves. Going for a long hike or riding your bike through the mountains does more than just invigorate your body, it eases the mind and the soul. Going in groups is a great way to have a bonding experience with others, especially with people like your family.

When going for a hike or a camping trip, try to appreciate the beauty of the natural world that is around you. Make sure to admire the peace and quiet that exists away from the bustle of city life. City life can be hectic and stressful what with the traffic, long lines, constant noise, and other stressed out, hyperactive people. Living a constant city life with all those environmental stressors can actually decrease one’s lifespan. So, get out of there as much as you can and escape to the outdoors where relief from stress exists in plentitude. It will help you get grounded and back to your normal self so that you may go back and be able to face the world with a clear mind.

Take Pictures

Take as many pictures as you can and review them often. The memory of the natural world and revisiting the ones you made while out in nature will help you return to the serenity that you experienced while out among the natural world.

It might be beneficial to start journaling, and take that journal with you while you are in the outdoors and make entries daily. After you have come home and made a few more while back in society, read back on them and compare how your mind was before and after taking a trip into the wilderness.

Diversify where you go as well. There are countless places to visit here within the United States, all of them offering something new and different for you to experience. There are regular local campgrounds and hiking trails, and then there are national parks and preserves, just to name some. What with the deserts, forests, beaches and prairies that we can find in our country, one will have more than enough places to visit in one lifetime.

Set Aside Time

Make sure to set aside some long periods of time during the year to take longer trips- don’t just go for day trips all of the time. The longer you are away and enjoying the outdoors, the better you will feel during and after. it will go fast, sometimes too fast, and you’ll look back on it and wonder where the time went.

There are groups designed to bring together the adventurous type of person to go into the outdoors with. Don’t go by yourself; find a group of people who are like minded in the interest of the outdoors and stick with them. This is a great way to make friends or maybe meet someone special.

Take care when going into the outdoors though. For many, it is out of their element, what with being away from society and all. There are hazards to be taken into account when going out into nature. The elements are one of them. When camping, we are out of the safety of a climate controlled environment, so be prepared for very hot and very cold weather.

Camp Prepared

If camping in a camping site, take extra blankets and clothing for those cold nights, and have a canopy or two ready for those hot and sunny days. In some places, the temperature variation from night to day can be drastic. For example, while camping in a place like Joshua Tree, California, out in the desert, it has been known to happen that one can cook an egg on a rock during the day and have a water bottle left outside of the tent freeze at night.

Being prepared and ready to absorb the fruits of nature will make your going outdoors more than just a leisurely trip- it will turn it into a special experience that one will enjoy remembering, hungry to have more of it. 

photo credit: Rennett Stowe via photopin cc

The Top 5 Family Resorts For Summer 2014

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by Quik Shade

The Top 5 Family Resorts For Summer 2014

It’s difficult to really choose where in the country one might want to go for a nice vacation. If you’re aiming at a resort, the field gets even more overwhelming, what with all of the choices that are out there these days. It is an expensive proposition, trying to decide exactly where to stay and how much you can spend. You don’t necessarily have to fly to Jamaica or other exotic locations in order to have a good time. Here is a guide to some of the best places to take the family in the country, some of them being in places that one might not have expected.

Tyler Place Family Resort, VT

Nestled comfortably next to the shores of Lake Champlain in northwestern Vermont, this resort is one of the few that enjoys having a staggering 90 percent return rate of the people who choose to stay there. It is a family run resort that was set up back in the 1950’s and was one of the pioneers of having an all-inclusive set up for their customers. The best kind of all-inclusive resorts have a large array of activities offered in far away picturesque places. This fits that description.

Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, GA

This is the kind of place that one should take the family if you really wanted to get away from it all. Reached only by boat, this humble little place only can accommodate a maximum amount of 32 guests at a time. It was a private hunting lodge built in 1917, but opened up to the general public in the 1970s as a resort. The lodge is within a 10,000 acre nature sanctuary, so you are bound to come across a large array of wildlife. If you take the family here, prepare yourself for VIP treatment. Rates include meals, snacks, and all beverages; naturalist-guided hikes, kayak tours, fishing trips, reptile safaris, and evening owl prowls; boat transfers to and from the island; and unlimited use of the island activities and recreation gear.

Vista Verde Guest Ranch, Steamboat Springs, CO

If you’re into the rugged kind of getaway, with rolling fields and high mountains, horseback riding and hiking, then this is the place to go. Here, one can learn to ride horseback, herd cattle, watch the kids compete in a just-for-fun rodeo (which we hope doesn’t include actual bull-riding!) and then unwind after a long day of great activities in their private jacuzzi included with your private cabin. Rates include meals and all beverages; horseback riding; guided hiking, biking, and fly-fishing; river rafting and kayaking; kids’ and teens’ programs; evening barn dances and rodeos; and shuttle service to and from Steamboat Springs.

Travaasa Austin, TX

Moving more into the natural side of things, this resort is what is known as a holistic retreat house. Located on the edge of the 24,000-acre Balcones Canyonland Preserve. It’s the kind of place where you can go for a gorgeous hike, take a cooking class, have a massage, and enjoy a gourmet farm-to-table meal all in the same day. Leave time to chill in the infinity pool, which delivers a panorama of the hill country landscape. The rates include meals, snacks, and nonalcoholic beverages; challenge course, yoga, culinary, and other group classes; and a $125 resort credit good toward spa treatments, a private class, or golf.

Club Med Sandpiper Bay, FL

If you’re looking for more of the classic paradise kind of getaway, then head to Club Med Sandpiper Bay down in Florida. Club Med is one of the most world-famous all-inclusive brands of resorts. This place boasts one of the best kids programs and a full-service nursery, as well as having a circus school where kids can learn the art of being a clown, and a full-on tennis academy. The setting on the sandy banks of the St. Lucie River is perfect for kayaking, sailing, and paddleboarding.

The Best Outdoor Markets In America

Posted on: May 14th, 2014 by Quik Shade

best-outdoor-markets

A good outdoor market is the kind of places one can find the best produce in town and some odds and ends that aren’t sold anywhere else. If you haven’t experienced one of these, then it is highly recommended that you drop by one at some point and take it all in. Here is a guide to some of the best outdoor markets in the country, so find one near you and head on over.

Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, CA

Every Wednesday and Saturday year-round, this outdoor market can be found in famous Santa Monica, CA. Drop on by to pick up honey from Bill’s Bees, fruit from Avila and Sons Farm, mushrooms from Clearwater Farms and bison from Lindner Bison.

There are some great places nearby to visit and get some food, such as sushi spot Sugarfish and bistro-style Fig Restaurant. The markets also offer cooking classes for those who feel they need to brush up on their chef skills, as well as green-living workshops and gardening seminars for adults and kids alike.

Green City Market, Chicago, IL

Held in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, this market starts its outdoor activities on the 5th of May. Held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the market focuses on local and sustainable food, with 55 diverse stalls filled with more than 20 varieties of plums, elk and tamales.

Well-known local chefs, Dale Levitski from Sprout and Rick Bayless from Topolobampo, will perform cooking demonstrations throughout the summer, so head on over to watch them perform their expertise. And on May 12th, you can head on over for the Green Street Market Barbecue, where you can sample barbecue from top restaurants and locally made beer.

Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University, OR

Portland itself has seven large outdoor markets, all of them notable in their own right, but the biggest and the best on to visit is the one held on the campus of Portland State University. Running from March until December, the Saturday market features more than 160 vendors selling local, in-season items like kale, radishes, carrots and scallions.

And keep your eye out for the new kids on the block that show up to the market to sell their wares- Temptress Truffles will sell locally harvested mushrooms and huckleberries along with truffle butter, oil and salt. The local chefs start coming out and showing off their skills at around 10 AM, and the kids can get their hands dirty with lessons from the students who attend The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland.

Nashville Farmers Market, TN

Having started back in the 1800’s, this open air market boasts a good reputation, solidified by time and effort on part of the locals. It is hosted in three separate areas:  the Farm Side with most of the food vendors, the Market House with restaurants and a café, and then the Flea Market that sells crafts like pottery and jewelry.

Head over to the food stalls to get your hands on some tubs of chèvre from Noble Springs Dairy and spicy kettle corn by Moose Head Kettle Corn. The market is held all year round, so check the seasonal calendar that they have to see what is coming up. Check out the Night Market on June 15, when the market stays open after hours starting at 6:30 p.m. Restaurants will provide special menus, and Market House merchants who normally show on Saturdays will open up.

Union Square Greenmarket, New York City, NY

This is one of New York’s most recognized open air markets, and it happens every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in Union Square Park. During the market’s peak season, expect to find 140 vendors from around the region selling everything from dried lavender sachets to emu and ostrich eggs.

Cooking demonstrations take place every week, and on Mondays, kids can stop by the Greenmarket Youth Education Station and get a tour of the local market, meeting farmers along the way. And on May 30th, Fishmonger Stephanie Villani and chef Robin Puskas will teach you how clean, fillet and cook sea trout.

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A Guide To Upgrading Your Outdoor Lounge Area

Posted on: May 12th, 2014 by Quik Shade

A Guide To Upgrading Your Outdoor Lounge Area

If you’re one of those people who has a patio that is not being used, or a space in your backyard that could easily be changed into something worthwhile, then this is a little guide that can provide a few tips on upgrading it into something that is worth envying, a place that you can entertain guests and lounge on with pride.

The Patio

First off, when it comes to patios, most the time the wood used to make the patio can be old and sometimes either rotted out or hit with a termite infestation. Make sure to check out the patio to make sure that none of this has happened. If it has, then the unfortunate and rather expensive task of fixing or completely replacing your patio will have to happen. However, as burdensome as this might seem, if it is done, then this is the kind of fix that will last a long time and be worth it in the long run.

The Setting

Next, take into account the ambiance of the house and the backyard as a whole. Like the frame of a painting, the surroundings of where your outdoor area are add to the way it is received by yourself and others. Ask yourself if the house might need to get some touching up on the trim, or the roof needs to be worked on a bit. Take a look at the backyard lawn and the plants growing around. Should they be touched up a bit? Would some rose bushes or other kinds of plants need to be added? Taking into account these kinds of details will help the way you feel about your backyard and accompanying patio.

The Furniture

For a outdoor lounge area to be successful, there must be, of course, lounging. Do you have patio furniture? If you do, what kind of condition is it in? Does it need to be replaced? Take into account how many people you think you might want to have over for a party or a barbecue. Do you have enough patio furniture? The right kind of furniture makes all the difference and is worth an investment, much like the fixing of a patio or deck.

A good canopy makes all the difference as well when it comes to having an effective backyard lounging area. In the summer it is going to get hot and sunny, and in the winter, there is going to be rain. You don’t want to have your backyard area that you’ve put so much time and money into only be used during certain times of the year, while the rest of the year it just goes unused. So, invest in the kind of canopy that can keep the hot, beating sun off of you and your guests, as well as one that will stop the rain when it comes pouring down.

The Details

Like any fine art piece, greatness can lie in the details. You’ve got your new patio, the mowed lawn and tendered plants, the clean walls of the house and patched roof. You’ve got your new patio furniture and strong canopy. But now, you have to pay attention to the little things. These little things are commonly referred to as accessories.

Hang a few potted plants from the tree and the railing of your patio. Maybe have a few of the larger kind decorating the perimeter of your patio and backyard, and make sure to keep them watered.

There are also a lot of different kinds of accessories that one can include in their backyard lounging area. These are things like a barbecue, a hammock, tiki torches, a fire pit, a space heater for those cold days, a thermometer, hanging lamps, some weatherproof art pieces, and so on.

Go Forth!

This should help you get the kind of backyard lounging area that you want, the kind that will last a long time and be able to entertain your friends. Make sure you invest in quality items too, so they last you a long time and hold up against the wear and tear of all the parties that you are going to have.

5 Summer Activities That Can Bring Your Family Together

Posted on: May 9th, 2014 by Quik Shade

five-summer-family-activities

Summer is a time when the kids are off school, the weather is great and people are getting out and doing things, enjoying the sun while it lasts. Summer is a great time to get the family together and go out and do things together, making great memories and getting closer to one another. 

There are a variety of things that families can do together during the summertime, and usually not during the winter due to the cold and the rain and whatnot. Here is a list that should help you get some ideas.

Go Camping!

Summer is a great time to get out and go camping out in nature while the weather is still tolerable. It is hard to find a good camping site in the winter due to the cold, rain, snow, all depending on where you live.

There are great camp sites all across the country that are open to people who want to get out and enjoy nature. Seeing as you would be camping in the summer, it is going to get hot and sunny. So, being a canopy or two to set your chairs up underneath so that you can get some shade while at your campsite.

Remember to take into account that you are in nature among the animals, who love your food, so take care to keep your food properly protected against those critters, small and large, that might come by at night to raid your ice chest. Lastly, don’t forget the sunblock!

Off To The Beach!

The beach is one of the best places to go to during the summer, but sadly, not everyone who lives in the United States has access to the coast or a large lake. But for those of you who do, make sure to take plenty of sunblock and a canopy as well to stave off the power of the sun. Set up your chairs underneath, read a book, watch the kids play and enjoy the sound of the surf while on your day at the beach.

Go for a Hike!

Again, as it is with camping, there are plenty of places to go for a nice day hike with the family, even if you live in a large metropolitan area. All it takes is a short drive to the nearest woods or mountain range to find a good place to put on your daypack and head out for a hike with the family. Bring the dog, too! They sure love to go out and find all the interesting things to sniff. Make sure to take plenty of water and wear sunscreen too, as well as maybe a light lunch for that halfway point.

Go To A Music Festival!

Summertime is when most of the music festivals that happen across the country are taking place. There are festivals for every type of music genre out there, and you are sure to find one that is suitable for the whole family. Again, seeing as it is summertime and it gets hot and sunny out in those big open fields that music festivals commonly take place in, make sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen, as well as bringing a canopy with you, if you are allowed to bring one in to where you are going.

Tailgating Fun

Summertime is also the time for sports, the kind that you can go and have a tailgating party at the stadium before heading off to the big game. Bring that barbecue and the folding chairs, plenty of food and cold beverages, and that canopy too, because it is going to get hot in those parking lots.

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How To Stay Cool At An Outdoor Music Festival

Posted on: May 7th, 2014 by Quik Shade

stay-cool-music-festival

Who doesn’t love a good music festival? They are springing up all over the country in places that one might next expect, following the new genres of music that are coming out all the time. One issue that seems to follow music festivals, however, is the weather. It always seems to either be too cold or too hot at a festival, with good weather being a rarity.

The hot weather seems to pervade, and someone should take care when going to a festival to stay cool and not get overheated. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are bad things, and should generally be avoided.

 Drink Plenty of Water

One of the main reasons people get into trouble in the heat is because of the fact that they are not hydrating enough. When people get too warm, they sweat, and when they sweat, even though they might not notice it at first, they are losing bodily fluids that help keep one cool. The more these get lost and not replenished, the more the body gets heated and cannot cool down, which leads to things like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Sometimes, at festivals and other similar types of gatherings, the venues are selling things like water for too much, like $3 a bottle, so make sure to bring your own, maybe even a camelback or something like that, and refill it as often as you can. This way, you are sure to stay cool and not suffer the effects of not having enough water in your body during a hot climate.

Stay in the Shade

This might not be as easy as one might think, because most music festivals are held in wide open areas, like parks, where there is little shade. The stage is ideally set up in front of a wide open space with no trees or canopies so that everyone can view the show and not have their sight obstructed by something. So, if at all possible, find something that provides shade to stand under. If nothing is available, make sure to wear a hat so as to keep the sun off of your head and face.

If there are places that have shade, like off to the side of the showing area where one might be able to stand and cool off then do so from time to time- take a break from the show and go cool off so you don’t get too overheated and start to have problems, possible ruining the show for yourself. Check out our portable canopy lineup.

Bring a Canopy

If shade is not available, then make your own. It may be that certain venues will not allow someone to bring in their own canopy due to the fact that if they set it up in the middle of the crowd or something like that, people will not be able to see the show. But, make sure to have one in the car just in case they allow you to bring it in- you’ll be glad you did.

Wear Sunblock

Sometimes, sunblock can actually make someone hotter if it is too high of an SPF (sun protection factor) because the higher the SPF, the thicker the liquid is. When this is the case, the thick liquid of the sunblock will block the pores in which the sweat comes out of the skin, making it unable to cool the body off. But this situation is easily avoided- just wear a lower SPF sunscreen, like 15 or 20… 10 even, if you feel you will be alright with that. Sunscreen will help your skin from not getting too hot, keeping your body cool in the process.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

Standing Out As A Super Soccer Mom

Posted on: April 30th, 2014 by Quik Shade

 standing-out-as-a-super-soccer-mom

There are lots and lots of cliches that go with someone who can be considered a soccer mom, and not all of them are flattering. What with the minivan or large SUV with the window and bumper stickers, the excess of enthusiasm (which can be a good thing folks, come on) the extracurricular activities other than soccer, the nice cookie-cutter suburban home (also not a bad thing) and several others.

Yet being a soccer mom isn’t as cliche as it might seem. Some would argue that aspects of being a soccer mom are aspects of someone who is a good mother. Yes, there are the ones that set the bad standards that our culture can go by, and here is a list of things to do that you, if you consider yourself to be a soccer mom, will be able to set some good standards with and fight the bad cliches that are out there.

Don’t Gossip

Being the parent of a kid who plays soccer means that you get to hang out with all the other parents of the rest of the kids on the team. And when that happens, people get to talking and get to knowing each other more and more. A community forms. For better or for worse, that community starts to grow and develop, with all the good sides and the bad sides that a gathering of people who know each other via proximity and similar circumstance can bring.

It is easy to start to become privy to other peoples business, and usually, if someone starts to reveal personal information about themselves, it is usually in confidence to those whom they are revealing it to. That takes trust, however much trust is felt to be had depending on what is being told. All the same, it is best to keep what is said in confidence as confidential, and not start to let others know in the group what is going on with Person A if they probably don’t want it to be known by everyone.

Don’t Try And Run The Show

Soccer teams have a specific order to them so that they may run as best as possible. There is the coach, the assistant coach, and then there is the team. If a parent starts to meddle in the affairs of the team and interfering with that the coach has set up as a good system, despite what anyone else may think, then let it run. Don’t be that person that has to step in and try to fix a situation that they may see as one that needs fixing, even if it does or not- it isn’t up to you.

As a parent, you are there to support the team and the coach through encouragement and enthusiasm. Not all the games will be won and not all the decisions the coach makes are going to be good ones- that’s just how it goes.

Contribute To The Scene

Aside from not gossiping about other players or their parents and not trying to run the show from the sidelines, here is something proactive that one can do to stand out as a good soccer mom.

By contributing in a constructive way to what is going on is a sure way to win the good opinion of others around you. Do things like cheer as much as possible, bring an extra few chairs for those parents who may have forgotten them or cannot afford one, bring an extra blanket or two, bring some canopies for those super hot, sunny days that you and the rest of the group can sit under (this one would really win the favor of others, for sure), encourage the coach and back them up if things get out of hand with other parents, and support your child as well as the others on things they did well versus scolding on what went wrong.

By doing these few simple things, one is sure to become a great kind of soccer mom, the kind that people start to trust and admire.

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What You Can Do To Protect Yourself From UV Rays

Posted on: April 29th, 2014 by Quik Shade

commercial-canopies

The sun warms and nourishes the earth and our bodies, bringing nutrients like Vitamin D to us through our skin, as well as letting green plant life flourish. It has been worshipped across the ages by peoples of all cultures from everywhere around the globe, and it still is today. The sun is warm and comfortable, and besides, who doesn’t like a good tan?

But it is coming more and more to light (no pun intended) that the sun can also be harmful to us. Too much of us absorbing UV rays from the sun has been linked to ailments such as skin cancer, and everyone knows the bad experience a sunburn can bring on. So it is important that you take precautions and protect yourself from the sun. A fair bit of sun is fine, even healthy, but too much exposure at any one time will start to cause damage to your skin and lead to further problems.

Wear Sunscreen!

One of the most obvious of the ways to protect yourself from the sun, yet it is also the least used. How many people really put on sunscreen on a daily basis? There are, of course, occasions in which it is customary to put on sunscreen, such as when you go out hiking or to the beach, river rafting or fishing- any kind of outdoor activities. But on a daily basis, most people don’t use sunscreen to protect their skin.

Think about the parts of your body that get the most sun on a day to day basis: your arms from the elbows down and your head from the neck up. Sometimes, your feet from the knees down if you are accustomed to wearing shorts and sandals. It should be obvious to someone where they are getting the most sun from a quick once-over of their bodies. Check and see where your skin is darker than other areas and make sure to put some sunscreen on there before you go outdoors. You don’t have to overdo it or use a sunscreen that has a large SPF (sun protection factor) to it- maybe something along the lines of 10 or 15 will do fine. This is something that pays off in the future as a preventative measure to something like skin cancer.

Cover Up!

On hot days, it is hard to justify covering yourself in longsleeves and pants in order to protect yourself from the sun, but sunscreen doesn’t stop everything that is coming in from the sun. Again, you don’t have to overdo your clothing selection in order to keep those UV rays off of your skin, like wearing a jacket or sweater and thick pants on a day that doesn’t necessarily call for it, but maybe something more lightweight that will keep you cool and still protect your skin. And lastly, wear a hat, especially if you are someone whose hair is thinning or already gone to the wayside on parts of your head. Is is very common for skin cancer to crop up on the scalps of men and women whose hair is thinner than most on the top and sides of their heads.

Limit Exposure

When going to the beach, the river, out camping, and so on in areas that are more likely to have higher sun exposure, especially in areas that are of a higher altitude, make sure to stay out of the suns rays as much as possible by providing yourself with as much shade as possible. There are several ways to do this, and the best way (if you are camping or setting up a side to hang out at) is to use one or more canopies that can be easily set up anywhere. This will help you stay cool and keep those sunburns away while you are out and having fun.

Must See Music Festival Guide

Posted on: April 25th, 2014 by Quik Shade

must-see-music-festivals

South By Southwest

SXSW is the premier music festival in Austin, Texas, for uncovering awesome new talent. It’s a great place to go and mingle with people in the up-and-coming music scene in Austin’s plethora of good bars and nightclubs. Austin’s underground motto, “Keep Austin Weird”, definitely resounds here as fresh new vibes and people keep this music festival great.

And not only is there music involved, but a very thorough speaker panel and film festival that takes place at the same time under the same name. The speakers are musicians themselves or people who are in the music industry and they talk about a wide variety of topics within the American music scene itself.

Ultra Music Festival

The Ultra Music Festival is one of the most popular EDM, or Electronic Dance Music, music festivals in North America. It features the biggest names in Electronic Dance Music who come and share their blasting beats to a dancing crowd in Miami, Florida. If you’re going to be heading out that way, though, take a canopy with you because it can get very hot and very sunny down there. The festival was two weekends long last year, because I guess the powers that be decided that one weekend was not long enough.

Coachella

Coachella is one of the most famous music festivals on the West Coast, featuring pretty much everything, from rock to rap, electronic dance to reggae. This year, some rare and reuniting bands have decided that Coachella is the best place to have their shows, so groups like the reunited Outkast rap group, and the Replacements are having their fourth show ever since 1991.

Taking place in the middle of the desert near Indio, CA, Coachella is probably one of the warmest and sunniest music festivals in the country, so make sure to accompany your campsite and tailgating experience with plenty of sunscreen and a quality canopy to protect yourself.

Counterpoint

Another great electronic festival Counterpoint, this music festival is a youngling compared to the other ones in the country, having just started back in 2012. It features the same kinds of big names that the Ultra Music Festival does, and being held in Kingston Downs, Georgia, it is definitely one of those events that goes against the grain and offers people of the local counter culture to come by and be themselves. This festival is definitely growing in popularity, hosting thousands of people both years that it has happened, so check it out if you are in the area when it is going on.

Beale Street Music Festival

The Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee is one of those music festivals that offers an eclectic, diverse array of different groups that a wide variety of people can come and enjoy. Last year, the festival had bands such as The Black Keys, Alice In Chains, Bassnectar, Daryl Hall & John Oates, The Flaming Lips, Phoenix, The Smashing Pumpkins, ZZ Top and The Black Crowes show up. Talk about diversity.

And not only is the music diverse, but the fans are as well. At this festival, one can see a wide array of different groups of people mingling and enjoying themselves together without any kind of fuss.

Sasquatch! Festival

Taking place in Gorge, Washington, the Sasquatch music festival prides itself on its unique and diverse lineup. Last year, the lineup featured very laid back and chill music from bands such as Mumford and Sons, The Postal Service, Vampire Weekend, Sigur Rós, The xx, Arctic Monkeys, Grimes, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Lumineers, The Tallest Man on Earth, Tame Impala, and Danny Brown. And this year, they are definitely switching gears and bringing in bands like Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, MIA, and Foster The People. With this kind of diverse array of bands showing up, one can expect a diverse array of fans as well.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons

DIY Backyard Wedding Guide

Posted on: April 19th, 2014 by Quik Shade

diy-backyard-wedding

Having a wedding can be a very expensive proposition, what with the flowers and catering, renting the church or other space you might want to use, renting tables and chairs, hiring musicians, buying the flowers, so on and so forth. Some weddings can run in the thousands of dollars. This can be so expensive, in fact, that some people simply cannot afford it at all.

But for those out there who are looking to have themselves a good wedding and save some money at the same time, here is a guide that might just help a little bit in that proposition. This article is aimed towards the idea of providing ideas for a Do-It-Yourself backyard wedding.

Any good wedding should be fresh, fun, and feel personal to the couple that is getting married; it should be something worth remembering for the rest of your life.

Employ Friends and Family

One of the biggest things at a wedding is the food. If you have a good cook in the family or have a personal friend that is good on the grill, ask them to come by your wedding and cook up some burgers and sausages on their barbecue. This will be far cheaper than employing a professional cook who, for all you know, might not put out food that is really that great, or at least what you were expecting. With someone you already know having the task set aside for them, you know what you are getting and they should be more than happy to help- they might even do it for free for the sake of the family or friendship, but don’t anticipate that.

Do you know someone who fancies themselves as a photographer? Instead of hiring a professional photographer, ask someone you know to come by with their camera and take pictures of the event. Again, offer to pay, but they might just do it for free. Another thing that people have been known to do is buy a large amount of box cameras for people to use throughout the event, and have been asked to leave them behind. Invest some wedding money in those and the development of the pictures, then go through all of them and pick out the best for your photo album. This plus the photographer themselves should provide a nice variety of pictures.

Be Creative!

There are tons of ways to substitute expensive items for things that are far cheaper and more personal than the run-of-the-mill items that most people would use at their weddings. Here are a few examples that might inspire some thought on your part as to how to go about partaking in making your wedding fun and personal.

Instead of flowers for place settings, a couple once used clear glass cups filled with fruit, like lemons, limes, and other small fruits. This still provided a light setting and exemplified the “fruits” of the occasion.

Instead of providing a large amount of rented chairs, perhaps ask people to bring their own personal chairs for the situation. This one is kind of a stretch, but it would be fun to have everyone sitting in their own different chairs, mixing the setting up and making it kind of interesting. Of course, have rented chairs available for those people who might forget or not have any kind of their own to bring; people aren’t going to be bringing their living room chairs for this, for sure.

Be Frugal!

Look for deals online for things such as centerpieces, put ads out asking for help from people who have already had weddings and are looking to get rid of their wedding stuff that they are obviously not going to be using again. Instead of heading to expensive specialty stores for things like cups and plates, why not head to somewhere cheaper for your supplies? Remember that if budgeting is an issue, then having a super nice wedding might not be possible. But isn’t a wedding about love, friendship, family and fun and not necessarily about glamour and shine? Make sure that what you’re planning is something that is going to be memorable and not necessarily just an everyday kind of wedding that would blend in with all the others.