Archive of ‘Lifestyle’ category

International Beer Day

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international beer day image

“Ah, beer. The cause of and the solution to all of life’s problems.” — Homer Simpson

We are sure that there are those among us that don’t need a special day set aside to celebrate the existence of beer. Regardless of whether you celebrate beer once a year or every SINGLE DAY of the year, there is no question that it is a popular beverage. In fact, one could argue that in Canada, it is the MOST popular beverage around (although the wine and coffee drinkers would probably want to arm wrestle for that title).

 

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” — Dave Barry

Cool Nutrition Facts

  • Beer is fat free.
  • Beer is cholesterol free.
  • Beer contains protein and carbohydrates.
  • Beer has fewer calories than many other beverages.
  • Beer reduces blood clots.
  • Folate in beer can lower the risk of heart disease when consumed in moderation.

 

To celebrate beer we have a coupon code for 25% off our 4 most popular beer gifts.  This coupon code can be used ONLINE ONLY and must be entered at time of purchase into your shopping cart.  This coupon code is valid from August 5 – 7th online.  Start Shopping for Beer Gifts Now!

BeerdayBlog

 

From your Things Engraved Social Team,

Things Engraved Social

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Shop for beer mugs, steins, and other accessories on our website or find it in a store near you.

 

Beat the “No Summer Vacation” Blues with a Unique Staycation

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This summer, I have no vacation plans. Zero. Nada.

Why? …. you ask.  Well, it’s a combination of factors (new summer jobs, new pet, changing work schedules, finally disposed of our leaky tent last year, etc.) that have lead our family to a no vacation zone this summer. And here it is, mid-summer, and we are all getting a bit bored with the same four walls. Which has lead me to do some thinking about how we can fit in some summer fun without going too far from home, without spending too much time or cash.

Here is some of what I came up with to finish off the summer in staycation-style.

Enjoy My Backyard “Oasis”

Ok, so, my backyard is NOT an oasis. Having a busy family and active dogs means my lawn is a mess AND I don’t have time to weed what few garden areas we have. A few years ago, we had to cut down the only two full grown trees in the yard because they were diseased and having a dead limb fall on someone’s head was just about the opposite to having a fun time in the back yard as you can get.  You get the picture… Basically my backyard is a “fixer upper.”

hammock

My actual hammock, ugly shed on one side, overgrown raspberry patch on the other.

Until we have more time to change the yard, what we have done is to create a few oasis-like zones. Basically, working with what we have to make some spaces to enjoy the yard. A small seating area with a table and chairs in this corner, a hammock in another corner. With music on a portable device and some patio lanterns strung around the place, we have a nice place to sit for a dinner, read a book, or take a nap.

Another idea is to explore local trails. A few summers ago I discovered some great local trails. They often have lovely quiet areas, perfect to stop for a rest and even a picnic lunch, without all the hubbub of a park. Not sure where your local trails area? Look into local biking clubs or even cross country ski clubs. They often have trails and paths that are accessible to walkers/hikers, so you can enjoy the outdoors while staying close to home.

 

Local Tourist Favourites

Often we take for granted the cool tourist spots we all have close to home. So, think like a visitor. Where do people from out of town go when they visit your community? Museums? Parks? Markets? Shopping areas? Historical sites? Really cool geographical sites? Try to look at YOUR town or city with a fresh eye and visit some places you may never have gone to before because they were just TOO familiar.

Another way to be a tourist in your own city is to think about what YOU like to do when you travel. Do you eat in unfamiliar restaurants, shop in unfamiliar boutiques, eat every meal at some sort of food establishment? Maybe you seek out experiences such as attending a live stage performance? Whatever your usual vacation style, try to bring a little bit of that into your daily routine during your staycation.

Complete the whole tourist experience by taking lots of photos, selfies especially, and posting them on social media so your friends from out of town can enjoy how cool your home town truly is.

Road Tripping

Years ago, when my husband and I were young and on a budget, we plotted out a monthly road trip to somewhere we had never been before. The only criteria we had beyond visiting a new place, was it had to be within two hours of home. Really, think about all the villages, parks, tourist attractions that are within a two hour drive that you have never visited. We realized there were LOTS of places we “knew” but had never actually visited.

We have instituted this idea again, and have a few road trips to interesting, off beat places in the works for the next few months – and hey, why limit yourself to just a summer road trip? Autumn is a BEAUTIFUL time to tour around and check out fall colours, fall fairs and fall foods. Take this idea right up to winter (at which time you feel free to road trip all you like. I will be cuddled up at home by my fireplace).

More Ideas

Here are a few MORE ideas you can consider. Depending on the age and interests of your family members, the ideas are endless. It just takes a bit of creativity!

  • camp in the back yard (bonus: bathrooms are very close at hand!)
  • sleep under the stars – similarly, if you are guaranteed a dry night, why not try this one? Fall asleep looking for constellations and the milky way
  • tournaments – you can plan a one day “event” or a summer long competition. Try some vintage games like croquet or badminton. OR maybe classic games like chess or backgammon will suit you better. Have a prize planned for the end of summer (preferably an outing in your community), and you will have a fun activity that takes you right to labour day. Keep it top of mind with a results poster on the fridge.
  • art projects – if you aren’t up for tackling something on your own, many local libraries, art galleries or community centres will offer one day art project classes. Take this to the next level and have a gallery hanging party at home – hang everyone’s projects, cover them with a white cloth, and serve finger foods and sparkly drinks, followed by a “reveal” of the art.
  • film festival – a day where everyone has a chance to introduce and screen a favourite film for the family. Get authentic and use a website like Canva to make a schedule and poster to get everyone in the mood. And, of course, you must serve popcorn!
  • Unplugged – often on vacation, you don’t have cell service or wifi. Try a week disconnected from the digital world and go old school with your activities (okay, or just try a few days, if your family will rebel at the idea of a full unplugged week!).
  • Cooking school – where is your DREAM vacation? Why not dedicate a day or even a weekend to recreating foods you might have eaten from that place. Decorate your table like they would at your dream destination, play the music of that location, and imagine yourself at a great restaurant.
  • Housekeeping – when you are on vacation, the last thing that you want to do is clean. So why not hire someone to clean your home at the start and the end of your staycation. You will love not having to do the work for a change!

We have a few products that can help you with your staycation. Just a few:

Things Engraved

Travel Mug

Things Engraved

Travel Key Chain

Things Engraved

Travel clock (for waking up while you are unplugged!)

 

Hopefully a few of these ideas sound like fun to you, or inspire you to come up with your own list of local staycation ideas.

AND, I can’t recommend a hammock enough! Bliss in a backyard.

 

From your Things Engraved Social Team,

Things Engraved Social

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The Selfie Craze – Summer 2015 Update

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Were you taking selfies before they were called “selfies?”  Probably.  But aren’t they the biggest thing right now?  I’m sure you have a friend (or two or five) who posts at least one selfie a week (or per day) to either Facebook or Instagram?  I have a couple of those friends and their selfie-addiction makes me laugh.

 

So everyone is taking selfies – even Darth Vader and your pets (likely when you’re at work!).  These two selfie photos (dog friends and Star Wars) have gone viral on the internet.

Photo source: Viral on Internet

Photo source: Viral on Internet

And get this – MizMooz created the “selfie shoe” as an April Fools Day” joke.  It’s pretty funny so check our their video here.

Miz Mooz Selfie Shoe - Photo Credit: Miz Mooz

Miz Mooz Selfie Shoe – Photo Credit: Miz Mooz

We first wrote about selfie sticks last summer (which you can read here) and our obsession has not dwindled!  Here are some of us Things Engraved gals taking self pics at a recent “Social Paint Nite” we did together one evening after work.  Notice how we couldn’t quite just get the “stick” part of our selfie out of our photo?  We just need more selfie practice!

More practice with the selfie stick needed!

More practice with the selfie stick needed!

At our last store manager’s meeting we had each team across Canada use one of our selfie sticks to take a group photo.  Fun times were had!

Things Engraved Store Manager Selfies

As you can see we are big into the selfie craze here.  For starters, we sell selfie sticks.  We currently (Summer 2015) have two styles.  Our “old” style requires a timer app on your phone/camera.  It can be purchased online and in-store (while quantities last).  It is currently on Clearance for only $4.97!  Our new style has a cord that plugs into your phone and has a button at the bottom of the handle for easy photo taking.  The new style is currently only available in-store (find a store location here) and sells for $10.  New style or old style, you just need a little practice before coming a selfie star!

Things Engraved Selfie Sticks

Things Engraved Selfie Sticks

Celebrities are big into selfies too.  Who can forget Ellen’s famous group selfie from the 2014 Oscars?  There has also been Bill Nye “the science guy” with President Obama, Beyonce’s photo-bombing selfie with a girl at her concert, and Eminem selfie-ing with the Mona Lisa in Paris (see more here).  So this is a fad that probably isn’t going away.  You might as well grab your phone (and selfie stick) and embrace the selfie craze.


From your Things Engraved Social Team,

Things Engraved Social

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This is how it’s done!  Good work Kylie!

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