Author Archives: Kevin Schnieders

Horseshoes: A Fun and Interactive Backyard Game

Do you remember those long, summer days where you were outside thinking up something else fun you could engage in to fight boredom and be entertained? Do you remember those fun family times where something as simple as horseshoes was loads of fun? Yes, horseshoes is a traditional summer game perfect for families, and even ideal for an activity at a backyard BBQ too. When you’re hosting a summer BBQ it isn’t just the food you need to be worried about. There comes a time when guests want more than alcoholic beverages, gossip and food. People want to have fun and of course, what’s so wrong with becoming more engaged and moving that body? Even adults need more sports in their lives, not more food.

So, horseshoes is one of the easiest backyard games you’ll play. It’s fun with a group and even with only two people, if you’re creative. The game isn’t difficult to set up at all. You don’t want to make it too easy. Yes, a little bit of a challenge makes it more fun. Below you’ll see just how exciting this summer backyard game really can be!

man playing horseshoes

While many of us don’t have the access to horseshoes anymore, you can still find mimics. Most kits today are U-shaped pieces of metal with stakes included. All you need is a flat yard to place stakes, and these should be around 30 ft apart for fun gaming, but 40 ft apart for more serious gaming. The goal is to toss the mimic horseshoe and hopefully get it around the stake. If you get a horseshoe within 50 ft of a stake you’ll earn half a point, 60 ft 1 whole point, and of course, if it is around the stake you get the most points. If no one gets a horseshoe around a stake but everyone is close, then all get 1 point. It might not seem fair, but it’s how the game goes.

Just remember the game is old and traditional and it is basically all for fun. It is easy for anyone to play and when you’re wondering what to do on a hot summer day, now you have something to occupy your time! It’s perfect for the kids, but even better when everyone joins in. You might want to consider adding it to that fun summer BBQ get together. You can also view this page for detailed instructions on how to play the game!

Sweet Treats for a Late Night Bonfire

A late night bonfire is an excellent source of beauty and entertainment that can be enjoyed all year round. Summer bonfires under a clear, starry sky, crisp fall fires that fill the air with the comforting scent of burning leaves, and the warmth of a winter blaze that breaks through the chill of a crisp and silent night are all guaranteed to please groups of any size.

When planning your activities, it is helpful to keep in mind that are two things that have been drawing people together for thousands of years, warmth and food. Providing treats alongside your bonfire can be a source of both sustenance and entertainment.

partying around the bonfire

The most popular, and traditional, type of bonfire snack is referred to as a s’more; titled as such because guests will always ask for, “some more.” The most basic version of a s’more includes a flame toasted marshmallow set between two pieces of graham cracker, along with a square of Hershey’s chocolate. The heat of the marshmallow melts with the chocolate into a gooey sandwich that has been loved, and passed on, for generations.

However, in recent years, new versions of the s’more have emerged and taken the camping and bonfire world by storm.

One of the most popular alterations is to replace the basic milk-chocolate with the Reese’s peanut butter cup, Rollo, or Oreo. These, along with other types of melting candies, have been added into the mix in order to create some of the most delicious snacks that can be enjoyed, and prepared, above the flame of a bonfire.
Additionally, new versions of the graham cracker and marshmallow have added to the variety of available options for s’more experimenters.

Marshmallows are now available in a variety of flavors and shapes that are meant to accommodate the square cracker on which they will melt. Graham crackers can be found in numerous flavors such as chocolate, cinnamon, and honey. Each of these alterations to the original product show just how popular the demand, and desire, for s’mores can be.

Another popular bonfire treat is commonly referred to as a hobo pie. Similar to a waffle iron, a hobo pie iron cooks its contents between two heated metal plates. The hobo pie plates, however, are attached to a long handle that can be extended over the fire while cooking.

A hobo pie begins with two pieces of bread, buttered on the outside, or pie crust that will encase the chosen contents of the meal. Though there are many variations of fillings that have been added between the layers, the most popular is canned pie filling. This filling is piled between the layers and the entire contents are then clamped shut and held over the fire to cook to the desired temperature. Apple pie, cherry pie, and any sort of prepared filling can be added to easily make this sweet treat.

For a meal option, rather than dessert, you may choose to add savory ingredients to create pizza pockets, grilled cheese, BLT, or pot-pie fillings.

Prepping for either style of bonfire treats is as simple as preparing a platter of mixed ingredients that will allow your guests to create samples according to their preference. Experimenting with different flavors and styles is sure to maintain a lively atmosphere, all while keeping your guests entertained and their hunger satisfied.

Summer Tips for the Best Backyard Barbecue

It’s that time of year again. That amazing time of year where the smokehouse is going and grills are blazing—the smells are mouthwatering! Spring is the beginning season for backyard cookouts and amazing get togethers before it becomes overwhelmingly stifling outside! When you want to host an All-American cookout there are amazing tips to help do just that! If this is your first venture then you’ll be more than happy to get some advice that will make you appear calm, cool and collected at the 1st social gathering of the season.

From setting up your backyard barbecue to its presentation—every detail influences guests! Let’s get started s haring some amazing tips to give you the exclusive results you want!

Just to begin, when you’re setting up your tables you want to make certain everything is organized in a way that makes sense. If you’re going buffet style, then this table should be right in the middle of all the interaction! The table with plates, cups and dinnerware should be off to the side, but visible to guests—and most importantly, it shouldn’t look cheap and gaudy! Even if you’re using plastic ware and paper plates get the best. Just some other entertaining ways to host an outstanding backyard barbecue are below:

  • Make it look elegant and decorate tables with a spray of plants and tea lights.
  • Make the bar simple and easy: serve a good variety of vino—many love it, and men can drink it too. It adds a little flair to the evening and it keeps down the confusion for the host.
  • Label glasses so if a guest sits their vino down for a moment they don’t pick up someone else’s by mistake—now that could be disastrous!
  • If you have the room do a backyard fire pit and place comfortable chairs around it.
  • And the most important tip of them all—don’t overwhelm yourself with details. A backyard barbecue is all about having fun with friends and family so keep it enjoyable. No stress allowed!

Every backyard barbecue is different so just do what you’re comfortable with, but make sure it is engaging and lighthearted! Don’t forget to have “to go” boxes for guest left overs! Everyone loves barbecue the next day.

Home Brewing in Tulsa: Making Your Own Beer

Tulsa, Oklahoma is one of the best-known cities for beer enthusiasts. The search for the next great beer has been captivating the local population for a long time. While there are always new selections and new brewers hoping to make a big name, you might find that you are still waiting for that perfect brew. This is why you should brew your own beer.

The obvious solution for an enthusiast with a particular flavor in mind is to try your hand at home brewing. The opportunity to create your own flavor is an ideal way to ensure your own personal, with beer of course. If you live in or around the Tulsa area, what better hobby to pick up than creating your own delicious masterpiece(s)?

Learning to home-brew is not as difficult as it might seem. There are many groups devoted to testing each others samples, beer making kits for the novice of the trade and endless resources online to help guide you in your selection of grains, yeasts and common beer ingredients. If you are serious about getting started, there are so many ways to get information out there.

The first step is to decide exactly which type of beer you want to make. Remember, each ingredient has the potential to alter the beer in any number of ways. Some popular beers to brew are a light beer, dark beer, heavy beer, ale, or lager. Once you have this step down, you can start getting all of the required materials.

One of the main things that new home brewers fail to take into account is the fact that fermentation takes a decent amount of time. This means that the sugars and enzymes need time to break down in order to obtain the appropriate taste and potency level for each blend. Any attempt to speed up the fermentation process will invariably produce substandard results. You will have to be patient and just know that brewing beer does take time and that you cannot cut any corners.

After you have taken the time to experiment, which may require many trial runs, you might want to consider hosting a tasting event for your final product. This is a great way to have other people try your beer and let you know if you like it or not. Most people who brew a beer like their own obviously, so it’s not until someone else tells them that it stinks for them to realize they brewed a less than adequate product.

Overall, brewing your own beer in such an active drinking community as Tulsa, Oklahoma can be an extremely exciting hobby to take up. By setting your mind on a particular type of beer and perfecting your process with the proper research, you can create a product that many people will enjoy. Who knows, you may be even be so good at it that you consider opening your own brewery!

Backyard Grilling in the Summertime

In the summertime, one of the best ways to have fun is to have a barbecue. If you love to grill, hang out and have fun with friends, grilling and barbecuing may be for you. Best thing about these events is that you can easily made delicious food for everyone and cleanup is a breeze. If you are looking to make use of your grill and enjoy yourself this summer, here are some fun tips.

Believe it or not, nearly eighty percent of Americans have a grill in their backyard. This means that millions of people enjoy cooking outside when the weather is nice. What could be better than sitting out back, tailgating, talking and eating healthy and unhealthy grilled foods. Don’t forget about the beer, alcohol and fun party games as well! If you are one of the lucky ones who owns a nice grill, you are already ready to go. If you are looking for a great new grill to spice up your backyard, you need to first decide whether you want one that use charcoal, gas or propane.

Once you decide on what type of grill you truly want, go out and buy one! Cooking on a grill takes a little finesse. The extreme heat of the surface can make or break your meat. This is especially true if you are using charcoal as the coals can get extremely hot. This is why it is important to learn everything there is to know about what type of grill you get. Cooking on different types of flames is much different, so make sure you know exactly what temperatures to cook foods at, especially meats. Here are some general tips to make the most out of your new backyard grill.

grilling in the backyard

Variety is the spice of life, literally. You can cook anything and everything on your grill. Throw some burgers on, some chicken or any other meat you can think of. You can also grill vegetables, fruits, tofu and a variety of other foods. Grilling can also be very healthy. If you are careful and only cook veggies and foods that are low in fat, you will create some healthy masterpieces. You can even make a grilled salad, something that is incredibly healthy.

Remember to use your grill often. Don’t let a rainy day keep you from grilling. The awesome flavors generated by cooking food over an open flame will make anyone’s mouth water and help drown out those dreary days. Grilling is also a very inexpensive alternative to eating out. You can easily pick up a bunch of meats, cheeses and vegetables at the store for much less than it costs to go out and eat. If you adapt your lifestyle to make your grill work for you, you will save some serious cash that you will not regret. Here is a great site for you with some awesome bbq grill recipes!

How To Label Your Home Brewed Beer

If you have decided to start brewing your own beer there are a few things that are important to know before you start. Brewing itself is as simple as buying a beer making kit, testing your favorite flavors and determining your own list of ingredients. With a short list of natural ingredients, you can easily set up your own brewing station in the comfort of your own home.

Once you have thought about your ideal beer, you need to consider the duration of the fermentation process, as this will affect your labeling dates. Remember, the longer the beer ferments, the higher the alcohol content. Also, the length of the process can affect the flavor of the beer too.

After your initial experimentation, you might find that you decide to produce one particular recipe in bulk. If you choose to make a large batch, it is important that you label your product properly. This way, you will always be able to identify which batch a particular bottle is from.

Self-adhesive labels are available for beer cans, bottles, bulk containers and even barrels. Each label can be designed and professionally printed, or you can write on them yourself. There are many shapes and sizes to choose from. Some labels even have a paper surface that can be printed at home. This will allow you to write whatever you want on them. If you want to go all out, you can get professionally printed labels shipped right to your house.

It is definitely recommended that you put your labels on the cans or bottles before adding the beer. This will help you to identify the exact dates that they were sealed before you put them into storage. When making a very large batch, dates will help you know which bottles to drink first and which ones are from the newer batches. This is crucial to make sure you never deal with spoiled or outdated beer.

Home brewing is a hobby that is increasing in popularity all over the world. People are starting to brew their own beer because it is cheaper than buying cans and bottles all of the time. They are also doing it to create their own tastes and flavors. Most would say that they are doing it because they love everything about beer and being able to create their own is awesome. Either way, brewing your own beer can be a fun an exciting way to ensure that you always have a fresh supply of beer whenever you want a cold one!

The Grown-Up Halloween Party: Do’s and Don’ts

Do you want to throw a Halloween party this upcoming season? If you do, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Grown-up Halloween parties are fun and easy to plan – maybe even easier than throwing a party for kids. That said, proper planning and preparation will guarantee that everyone has a good time. If you are looking to plan a Halloween party this year, check out some of these cool tips.

First, make it clear on the invitations that it is a party for grownups. You don’t want little kids running around where you have scary decorations, alcoholic drinks and adults in sexy costumes. For one thing, it could be dangerous; it also completely ruins the vibe. Consider calling guests with kids to politely repeat the instructions to not bring their kids. If everyone you know has kids and you want to be sure they’ll come, hire a babysitter and host a separate party for the kiddos. Snacks, costumes, and a “spooky” movie can go a long way.

Once you’ve made it clear that it’s an adult party, you better stock your bar. Consider upping the ante on your normal party snacks, too. Halloween is a great time to provide themed snacks as well. You can also look up specialty cocktails that go along with your party theme.

sexy halloween costume

Grownups are a little more likely to play games at Halloween parties than other times as well. Their inhibitions are lower on Halloween, probably thanks to all the costumes and alcohol. Take advantage of the festive atmosphere to play some fun games and get everyone laughing. They don’t have to be Halloween themed – just look for something your crowd will enjoy.

Decide if you want to throw the party at your house or somewhere else. At home, you’ll be able to throw a smaller, more intimate party and it will cost less. However, if you rent a dance hall or other space, you can go wild by renting a DJ, providing entertainment and going all out. Ultimately, it will depend on your budget and the feel you want.

Most importantly for a Halloween party, no matter what, don’t skimp on the decorations. Halloween is all about creepy, dark themes. Invest in enough to transform the look of your house. You can even consider a theme for your party. Make sure you tell your guests to wear their costumes! They will become part of setting the mood.

There can be a lot of details involved in throwing a Halloween party, but all in all it’s pretty simple if you start early. Make sure everyone knows what to expect, plan as much as you can afford, and let everyone go wild. Who knows, you may be such a hit that it may become an annual event.

Beer Ingredients: Knowing what is in Your Beer

With new brands and flavors of beer coming out all of the time, it is important for the adventurous beer drinker to have a thorough knowledge of the ingredients used to make all of the different types. Different ingredients produce diverse flavor and color results during the beer making process. If you have a preference for a particular style, or desire to avoid certain types for reasons such as allergies, then knowing the ingredients can help you choose from a variety of beer options.

The primary ingredients used to make beer are water, malted barley, hops and yeast. Other like flavoring, sugar and starches can be combined as well. Starches are used in the mashing process to create fermented sugars and enzymes that will determine the alcohol content, body, and taste of the beer.

beer mug next to hops

The main ingredient in beer is water. While it is easy to assume that all water is the same, this cannot be farther from the truth. The source of the water, its mineral content and where it is from can play a large role in the character of a beer. Generally, hard water, or water with higher mineral content is more suited for darker beers while soft water is ideal when brewing the lighter alternative.

Barley is the most commonly used malt due to its high amylase content. Additionally, barley contains a digestion enzyme that helps breakdown starches into sugars. Depending on the local region and brewery preferences, other malted or non-malted grains can be used in the brewing process. These include wheat, rice, oats and rye.

Malting is a process that happens when a grain germinates. Once the grain is soaked in water, it begins to grow. At this point, the grain is then dried in a kiln preserving the enzymes that will eventually transform the starches in into fermenting sugars.

Hops have been used as a bittering agent in beer since the 17th century. This bitter flavor helps balance the sweet taste of the malts and this process sometimes even results in flavors that are considered earthy, or have hints of citrus. The bitterness level of beer, as a result of hops, is typically measured on an international scale. Hops also provides an antibiotic element that prevents the yeast from producing bacteria.

Yeast is a microorganism that is responsible for fermentation. The type of beer being made is determined by the yeast that is used. The 2 main types of yeasts that are typically used by brewers are ale and lager, though others are available as well. Yeast helps to metabolize the sugars that are extracted from the grains.

Though the ingredients used to make beer are simple to obtain and have not changed much over the centuries, it is important to be aware of the actual processed used to brew the beer. This will help to ensure that you are making exactly what you want when it comes to flavor, body, color and bitterness. Once you get the process down, you can even start experimenting with different styles and flavors.

Adult Pool Party Accessories

When purchasing pool toys, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds are simple items such as pool noodles, diving rings and floating zoo creatures. However, there are a ton of alternative products out there that can make the water just as enjoyable for adults. Here are some great ways to spice up your next adult-only pool party.

Most adults enjoy using their pool often for relaxation and entertainment. Going for a swim or simply floating around in the pool allows for the kind of peace and solitude that most people desire after a hectic work day. If you are looking to relax, there are a bunch of different styles of floating rafts and chairs that will allow for easy lounging. You will be able to easily drift in any pool.

What’s great about inflatable chairs is that they resemble the shape and style of a traditional chair, except they float in the water! Most of them allow your lower body to be submerged in the water, which can keep you cool on a nice hot day. Others are large enough to completely support the weight of an adult body above the water. Both styles are great for any party you throw as people will be able to easily relax in the water at your house.

Inflatable rafts are quite possibly the most popular products for adults to purchase for their backyard oasis. They are typically flat and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. People can sit or lie down on them to completely relax while floating. These are ideal for anyone looking to sunbathe or fall asleep in the water. What’s great about these is that you can easily deflate them and store them anywhere. These are the perfect accessory for anyone who needs a fun toy that takes up minimal space.

Quite possibly the best pool toy ever invented is the inflatable beer pong table. These floating masterpieces allow you to play a variety of party and drinking games in the water. They have been around for a number of years and are enjoyed by thousands of people each year. If you are really looking to spice up your pool party, consider getting your own floating pong table.

4 different inflatable beer pong tables

These are just a few of the many ways you can liven up any adult pool party. Summer is quickly approaching as the weather is starting to get warm. This means that it is time to start thinking about you are going to entertain your friends this upcoming season. If you have a pool or have a close friend who does, get out there and search for some fun adult-only accessories.

Holiday Party Planning Tips

Ah, the holidays. Time to gather with family and friends to share love, eat food and tell stories. The end of the year brings all of the memories to light and makes people just want to be together. This is a great time for anyone to throw a party and spread some cheer. If you are in charge of planning an event for the holidays, here are some great tips.

One of the first things to think about is whether the party will be casual or formal. Consider all of your guests, what they prefer and what kind of party they expect you to throw. A dressy party can be fun, but might put undue pressure on a group of people who don’t enjoy dressing up. Deciding all of this beforehand will ensure that everyone knows exactly to expect.

Once you’ve decided on the theme, pick an invitation that shows off your plans. Choosing colors to fit the theme of the party is always a nice touch. Invite everyone you want and then potentially follow up with an email or telephone call. This will add a nice personal touch to any event. If you’re having a seated meal, insist on RSVPs so that you can plan and budget accordingly.

If you are planning on having a lot of people at your house, you may want to turn your holiday party into a backyard event. Of course, this is only an option if the weather is nice and you have a decent sized yard. Backyard parties are a great way to entertain a variety of different people. You can introduce a bunch of fun lawn and tailgate games, barbecue some foods and set up a nice area for people to just lounge around and relax. This will all be dictated by the theme that you decide on.

If you are in charge of making sure everyone has a great time this upcoming holiday season, don’t get too stressed about it. Remember, you don’t have to plan too much for a holiday party, as the season lends itself to easy conversation and cheer. Your main goal will be to bring people together to enjoy some good food and conversation. Holidays are a great time to see the people you don’t get to see or talk to that much throughout the year. If this is the case for you, make sure to take advantage of this time of the year to celebrate all the things in life that bring you gratitude!

Ten Tips for an Amazing Trip to Cancun

If you’re thinking Spring Break, you’re probably thinking hot and sunny, so Cancun may be a great choice. The beautiful weather, sunny beaches and tropical drinks attract people from all over the world. Whether you’ve traveled the world or this is your first trip out of the country, pay attention to these essential tips for an amazing trip to Mexico.

image of cancun shoreline

First is the season. While Cancun can be enjoyable in the spring, the truth is that you may find yourself in hot, damp weather. Make sure you check with your travel agent to see when it is best to travel there.

Second is budget. Make sure you know exactly how much you want to spend before taking a trip. Remember, there can be a lot of ancillary costs involved with any trip, so you may want to look for some “last-minute deals” before you actually book.

Third is dream big. If you only get to travel once or twice a year, make sure you go all in. Do some research and find something that you really want to do. It will make your trip that much more memorable.

Fourth is politics. Traveling out of the country is awesome but it can also be a bit dicey. Make sure you know what to and what not to do when you travel to a foreign country that relies on tourism income.

Fifth is activity level. Do you want to rush around and see the sights and jam as much into your trip as possible, or are you looking for a relaxing, slow-paced visit? Consider how much energy you want your trip to take before planning.

Sixth is traveling companions. Bringing friends on any trip can be wonderful or it can be a nightmare. Make sure you choose carefully so that you travel with friends that you know you will have a blast with.

Seventh is tour groups or independence. Some travelers love the peace of mind afforded by traveling with a tour group, but others need to follow their whims while traveling. Make sure you know what you’re in for when deciding how best to see things in a new place.

Eighth is travel light. If you don’t pack too much, it’s easier to get from place to place while traveling. Only packing the bare essentials will mean you won’t have as much to worry about while you are on the go.

Ninth is understand all of the details. When it comes to getting around the city and getting to and from Mexico, make sure you have all the details well-planned and your documents in order. You don’t need the last-minute headache of a missed connection or lost passport.

Tenth and last is have fun. Get organized and look forward to a wonderful trip. Positive thinking will definitely help you enjoy yourself, especially when traveling. Expect the unexpected and enjoy what comes your way. If you’ve planned well, you’ll be sure to find adventure no matter what.

These are just ten of the great things you can do to ensure any trip to Mexico will be a success. Whether you are in college on Spring Break or are heading down there with the family, paying attention to these tips and tricks will ensure your next trip to Cancun is the best one yet. Here is another great article with some awesome Cancun tips.

Planning an Outdoor Camping Party

If you have ever been camping before, you know that planning a camping trip comes with a unique set of challenges. If you have ever tried to plan an event around a camping trip, you know it comes with an even more unique set of challenges. This type of event combines a destination vacation with a beach party, and is usually a multi-day ordeal. This almost always means that it will require a great deal of planning and preparation. Here is a post to help you with just that.

smores on a camping trip

Anyone who goes on a camping trip usually loves it. There are some rare instances where things don’t go according to plan, but for the most part these trips are enjoyed by all. Things like campfires and ghost stories aren’t usually offered at house parties, which is why people love to head out into the wilderness. If sleeping in a tent or RV doesn’t appeal to you, it may not be the right place for you to host an event.

It is always a good idea to call the campground you are thinking about going to beforehand, so you can talk to someone about the rules and regulations. Some campgrounds have rules regarding how many tents can be at a site, how many people can be present, and things like quiet hours.

Popular campgrounds fill up quickly, especially around big holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. If you are planning your trip around one of these holidays, it is important to make your reservations as early as you can. Booking early is also a good idea if you are going hosting an event and bringing a lot of people. This will make sure you stay organized and ensure everything will run smoothly.

Another great tip is to talk to the friends you are planning on going camping with. Try to find out how many people are experienced with setting up tents, making fires and being out in the wild. This will help you decide who will be in charge of each task. When you are trying to decide what types of food and beverages to bring, keep in mind that you will not have a refrigerator, so make sure to plan accordingly.

A camping trip is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family. It can give you a few days to rest and relax away from home. It can also provide a great venue for any type of party you want to host. If you take the time to plan and prepare, you will definitely have a great time enjoying nature.