Categories
Eat

The Outdoor Gourmet Barbeque Kitchen

Dinner parties are great, especially for the talented foodies and those with kitchens fit for chefs. But not everybody enjoys the atmosphere. However, when you go to a barbeque, you will be hard pressed to find people who aren’t enjoying some aspect of the experience. And everyone likes eating food prepared outdoors. Barbeques are the inclusive food party that everyone can enjoy. If your desire is to throw the best parties. You might consider that instead of dropping 30k on a kitchen makeover, perhaps you can become a legend by building the ultimate barbeque kitchen and throwing the best outdoor events.

  • Build Your Stage: Now is your opportunity to build that deck you have been thinking about, because you are going to need a place for the magic to happen. In the centre of the deck shall be the outdoor kitchen. Build up against your house so you have wind protection. Install some stone or slate outdoor cladding tiles for heat protection and to establish this as the barbeque zone. Now consider how many people will be your max attendance. You should design for a flow through pattern, like a buffet for people to select their items and fix their plates, a long island with cabinets underneath to store your outdoor dishes and condiments.
  • Assemble Your Gear: What you want to design is a proper outdoor kitchen centred around an oversized gas grill. You don’t want to be going into the house for anything. So in addition to the grill you want to have a gas stove with multiple burners. You’ll need an oven for warming, a microwave, a double length sink, a prep counter, a commercial deep frier, a smoker, and a beverage fridge. Above it all you want to have some weather protection, either a permanent roof or a rollout awning. Also consider that your appliances should be built in, and they should be covered in some way when they are not in use.
  • Become a Connoisseur: Now if you are going to go to all that effort, you need to have a few signature dishes. Everyone can make a decent hamburger or grill a steak, but if you master the smoker and have a legendary chilli, you are going to get some BBQ cred. And if you really want to make a splash, start introducing actual gourmet recipes to your backyard parties. There is no shortage of recipes, and websites like this one can guide you to becoming a backyard master chef.

Outdoor kitchens are not new, in places like Southeast Asia the outdoor kitchen is standard. It is an excellent way to keep your home free from cooking smells and all the atomized pollutants that slowly stain everything in your house. Outdoor cooking just feels better, and most people insist it tastes better. But above all, outdoor cooking is superior for entertainment. It is only a certain crowd that likes a formal dinner party. Hosting next level outdoor barbeque parties, especially if the food is outrageously good, is going to establish you as the entertainment master of the neighbourhood.

Categories
Events & Festivals

Army Veterans Find Large Audience on TikTok Platform

Veterans have always occupied a place close to the hearts of most Americans. Even before the rise of massive contemporary platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, videos featuring the troops showing off comedic songs, dances, and skits have often gone viral. In fact, troops fighting in the War on Terror often were the subject of popular obsessions in the United States. Men in the Army, clad in their Army sleepwear, have won the hearts of millions as they danced to popular songs. 

But the rise of platforms like TikTok have made it even easier for the average content creator to have their comedy skits and dances broadcast to millions. And while Generation Z continues to be the core demographic of TikTok’s social media application, an increasing number of former Army service members are using their military background to jumpstart exciting careers in comedy and acting on the site. Bella Poarch, the newest massive star to surface on TikTok, served in the U.S. Army, and fans say that her military background only heightens their interest in her lighthearted and well-choreographed small musical videos. 

Will Serra is another up-and-coming content creator utilizing TikTok to reach the newest generation of media consumers. Serra’s military background isn’t just a fun fact about the comedian. He cites it as one of the big contributing factors to his unique style and presence on the app. Serving in Afghanistan as an intelligence analyst for the Army, Serra disconnected almost entirely from social media for seven years. But during this time, his work interacting with people from varying world cultures helped him to cultivate a uniquely variable comedic style. 

This culturally diverse delivery style has certainly paid off for the former Army man. His videos, which are primarily skits and parodies, have gone viral in 10+ countries aside from the United States. In just six months, Serra’s account has grown from zero to over 108k followers. A wide age range characterizes his primary target demographic, which is likely another facet of his variable, fun, and open style of comedy. 

What is it that makes former service members so appealing to consumers of entertainment media? It’s hard to say for sure. To Serra, his military service prepared him to communicate comedy to an extremely versatile group of audiences—audiences that non-service members may never even encounter. How many other TikTok account holders can say that their videos have gone viral on more than three continents? 

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, Serra hopes that his videos will bring some light into the lives of people going through dark times. It seems unlikely that audiences will lose interest in the rising TikTok star, whose work has been shared by celebrities like 50 Cent. With over 2.8 million likes, the world has once again affirmed that servicemembers are not just welcomed, but encouraged, in the world of comedy. 

From Afghanistan to TikTok, Will Serra’s journey to comedy has been unique. And if he has anything to say about it, the story is just getting started. 

Categories
Travel

The Main Attractions in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Skyline, Night, Architecture Asia

Hong Kong is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world while it is also one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in Asia. Indeed, if you are looking to take your next holiday in the Far East, you should consider visiting Hong Kong while you should also be aware that you could rent a boat in order to see some of the main attractions around this beautiful harbour city. Furthermore, it is also important to understand that Hong Kong is one of the most particular cities on the planet while you could enjoy some of the best street food in the world as well as great restaurants and beautiful scenery. As a result, if you are thinking about taking your next holiday in the city of Hong Kong, you should think about visiting a number of the main attractions. However, it is also important to understand that given the current situation around the world, planning a trip to this particular part of Asia is essential. For more information about the city of Hong Kong, you should consult an online business directory as you will be able to identify a number of boat rental companies that you can contact.

1.            Enjoy the beautiful harbour

One of the best things about Hong Kong is its natural setting, while you can also take the opportunity to explore a number of the main islands that are located around the city. This is especially pertinent if you want to enjoy a holiday on the water or if you are looking for a company providing boat rental in Hong Kong, while you should also be aware that a number of other attractions are available for you to visit while you are spending time in this fantastic city.

2.            Eat great food

Another of the main attractions that you could enjoy in the city of Hong Kong is the fantastic food that is available. Indeed, numerous vendors are available selling a variety of different types of Asian food while you could also take the opportunity to try the various types of street food that are available. This is especially pertinent if you consider yourself to be a foodie and you want to try a variety of new dishes and flavours.

3.            Explore the city

Finally, it is important to understand that Hong Kong has been the centre of colonial and Asian culture for centuries, while you could also see some of the fantastic colonial architecture, as well as the more modern buildings when visiting this part of Asia. Furthermore, you can take the opportunity to explore Hong Kong’s main attractions while you can enjoy the fantastic scenery that surrounds this modern Asian city. There are also a number of other attractions that you can see during your time in Hong Kong, including theme parks and temples which are located across the city while you should check the travel advice before you go.

  • Enjoy the harbour views
  • Eat street food
  • Explore the city

Therefore, in conclusion, if you will be visiting Hong Kong in the near future, you should think about renting a boat as you can enjoy fantastic harbour views as well as the natural scenery that surrounds this amazing and vibrant city.

Categories
The Scoop

How to Winterize Your Grill (and Prepare it for Storage)

Packing up the grill before winter is always a sad, sad day for people who love being behind the grill or even in front of it. But if you don’t, and live in a country where the weather can get too frigid, you might end up having to bid a permanent farewell to your beloved grill.

To prevent this, winterizing your grill becomes important.

If you want to protect your grill from getting covered in layers of snow, you have to start by giving the equipment a very thorough cleaning and then storing it safely until your next grilling session.

Wondering how to do this? Read on as we discuss our best tips to help you winterize your grill.

Set fire to your grill grates – not literally

Before starting with the deep cleaning process, we would highly recommend preheating the cooking grates and then scrub them with a grill brush. This will allow you to remove stuck debris and grease particles (as much as possible) to ensure you from getting any rude surprises when you take your grill out next season.

In short, any leftovers should be off your grill. More so, if you don’t want any mold development over the next couple of days.

Make it a soapy affair

Before we discuss what you have to do here, make sure you have a gentle soap, a bucket, and a 3M cleaning pad ready with you.

Now, reheating and scrubbing the grates will remove a majority of any leftover residue, but to make sure that they become squeaky clean, you need to do some deep cleaning. 

Once the grill cools down, remove the cooking grates, burners, and flame tamers with care. Follow this up by removing off any leftover residue and grease by using the 3M cleaning pad. Of course, you can use soap and water cleaning here too.

While you do have the liberty to use plenty of soapy water, just make sure you rinse it off properly. Similar to how you wouldn’t want any grease left on your grill, you don’t want any leftover soapy residue as well. The last thing to do is then empty your drip pans or ash catchers, clean them up, rinse, and then put them back at their spots. Yes, this applies to DIY barbecue grills too!

Don’t forget the exterior

Preparing your grill for storage isn’t limited to internal deep cleaning only – the exterior is equally important.

The main purpose of winterizing is to prevent corrosion or mold growth, which is why you should also clean the outside of your grill to avoid either situation. All you need is a clean cloth to wipe the outside of your grill after having soaked it in soapy water. You should do this even if you have compact grills suited for condo and apartments. After all, hardened marinades, sticky basting sauce, and other leftover bits don’t differentiate by size.

Getting the (high-quality) grill cover on

Admit it: We have often wondered whether simply covering the grill would be good enough. Well, it is good enough to protect the grill from snow, but deep cleaning is very important if you want to boost the grill’s longevity.

You see, covering the grill will protect it from elemental exposure, which can be really damaging even if your grill is made from high-quality materials.You would also have to make sure you determine the right place to store your grill. We would recommend using the basement, garage, or a storage room as they are well covered and safe from any element damage.

If replacing your grill after just one or two years of use doesn’t sound appealing to you, make sure you invest in a good and appropriately-sized grill cover right away! Lower quality grill covers can be turned down by bugs and other creatures, which would defeat the whole purpose of covering the grill in the first place.

We would again like to stress the importance of ensuring the grill is completely dry before covering it. Let it air dry, if possible, but if not, simply wipe off any moisture with a towel.

Winterize your charcoal grill too

Winterizing a charcoal grill is actually quite similar to winterizing a gas grid – well, mostly.

You see, preparing to store away your charcoal grill isn’t as involved as a process. You start by cleaning and scrubbing the cooking grates to ensure there is no leftover residue or food bits, as well as empty the drip trays to remove the ash. 

Once done, you only have to wipe the grill with warm, soapy water – the interior and the exterior – and then allow it to dry. You can then store it away once the charcoal grill is completely dry.

And that’s it! Just follow our above-mentioned steps to winterize your grill and prepare it for winter storage. It really doesn’t matter the type of grill you own, what is more important here is to deep clean the equipment to remove food debris and grease stains, to dry it properly, and then store it to protect it in the upcoming frigid months. 

Categories
The Dish

Sleep and Mental Health: How Good Sleep Habits Can Improve Your Mental Well Being

About one-third of American adults don’t get enough sleep. In fact, sleeplessness in America is so bad, the CDC actually declared it one of the biggest health challenges of the modern era.

This rise in sleeplessness has been connected to other health challenges. Some experts have even suggested that the recent increase in mental health issues could be connected to people not getting enough sleep.

Sleep and mental health do impact on each other, often in more ways than you might think. What does sleep do for your mental well being? How does mental health impact on your sleep habits?

This guide has these answers and more.

Sleep and Mental Health Go Hand in Hand

At first glance, you may not think sleep and mental health are interconnected. Yet, studies show that the majority of people with a mental health disorder also experience some kind of sleep disorder.

Depression is one example. In some people, depression can be linked to sleeping longer. In others, depression can lead to insomnia and sleep deprivation.

Stress and anxiety can also lead to more sleeplessness nights. People who are anxious may find it more difficult to fall asleep.

Sleep deprivation also has profound impacts on mental well being. People who are sleep deprived are often more irritable and prone to higher stress levels. This, in turn, can make it even more difficult for them to get the sleep they need.

It can be difficult to sort out if sleeplessness is causing a mental health disorder or vice versa. In almost all cases, though, improving sleep can help to improve the symptoms.

Why Sleep Is So Important to Mental Well Being

Sleep plays an important role in proper functioning. Losing sleep on a single night or getting to bed later than normal may mean you’re a little irritable or drowsy the next day.

Chronic sleeplessness can lead to bigger problems. You may feel fatigued or “foggy,” but you might also have issues with memory formation. If you find yourself being more forgetful, it may be because you’re not getting enough shuteye.

As noted, sleep also plays a role in mood. People who are chronically sleep deprived are less capable of thinking clearly. That can impact everything from reaction times to decision-making.

In turn, you may not be able to keep your emotions in check or feel overwhelmed by even small changes. You may also react slowly, which could impact job performance or important tasks such as operating machinery.

The Function of Sleep

Scientists are still working out why people need to sleep, but there’s evidence that it’s a chance for the brain to repair itself. As you burn energy, the compound adenosine builds up in the brain. This leads to sleepiness, along with other hormonal changes.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t give the brain a chance to clear out the excess adenosine. This seems to trigger more changes in the way the brain and the body functions.

One example is the effects on hunger hormones. When someone is tired, their bodies produce extra hunger hormones. This can lead to cravings for high-calories foods and, ultimately, weight gain.

That, in turn, can also lead to more health problems.

Sleep also provides a chance for people to solidify their learning from the day. In fact, it plays a key role in memory formation. As a result, chronic sleeplessness can impact your ability to recall information and form new memories.

What should be clear is that sleep is key to overall health, including mental well being. It’s likely that sleep deprivation creates changes in brain chemistry. These changes could trigger depressive feelings or extra stress.

What Makes Up Healthy Sleep?

There are two major factors that you need to consider when thinking about healthy sleep. They are:

  • Quantity of sleep
  • Quality of sleep

Quantity of sleep is how much sleep you get overall. Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night for healthy functioning.

Quality of sleep is also important. You might get nine hours of sleep every night. If you’re not getting quality sleep, though, you may still feel drowsy or tired.

In short, quality of sleep measures how restful your sleep actually is.

Sleep may not be restful if you have one of several disorders. Restless leg syndrome, for example, can cause people to fidget during their sleep. This, in turn, can make them feel less rested when they wake up, no matter how many hours of sleep they got.

Sleep apnea is another culprit here. If you sleep the required amount every night but still feel tired when you wake up, you may want to see a specialist.

Other disorders, such as ADHD, can also impact sleep. Some studies of children with ADHD show they have shorter sleep cycles. Restlessness disorders may also impact on the quality of their sleep.

How to Get Healthy Sleep

If sleep is important to health and mental health in particular, you want to be sure you’re getting good sleep. So, what can you do to improve both the quality and quantity of your sleep?

The first step may be to consult with a specialist to see if you have a sleep disorder. A disorder like sleep apnea needs special treatment.

Other disorders, like insomnia, may be treated with good sleep habits. Even if you have another disorder, good sleep hygiene can be important for improving sleep quantity and quality.

So, what do healthy sleep habits look like?

Setting Up a Routine

The first step to getting better sleep is usually creating a sleep routine or schedule. This means going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day.

Some people like to think they can get less sleep during the school or work week, then “make up” for it on the weekend. This can impact the sleep schedule and make it more difficult to get to sleep on time or get the right amount of sleep.

Instead, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This sets your circadian rhythm, so you’ll be ready to sleep when it’s bedtime and ready to wake up when the alarm goes off.

Unplug and Decompress Before Bedtime

Other factors also play into falling asleep at the right time. Unplugging from your electronics an hour or so before bedtime might be one factor. The blue light from screens can impact melatonin production, which can keep you up longer.

You may want to try filling that hour before bedtime with relaxing activities to help you wind down. You might consider taking a hot bath or reading a paperback book. Connecting with others can also help you feel sleepier.

Meditation may help as well. Some gentle stretching may also help you feel more prepared for bedtime. Try not to do anything too vigorous before bedtime, as it may keep you up.

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious about the next day, try to take care of small tasks that will make the day less stressful. An example might be laying out an outfit and making your lunch if you’re concerned about rushing or being late in the morning.

Diet and Exercise Tips

There’s good evidence that exercise impacts both sleep and mental health. If you can, get 60 minutes of vigorous activity in every day.

Exercise can release endorphins, feel-good compounds that lift your mood and bust stress. This may help with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Exercise also burns energy and can help you feel more tired when bedtime rolls around.

Diet also plays a key role in both mental well being and sleep. Caffeine, for example, can keep you awake longer and it can also make you feel more stressed and anxious.

Try not to ingest caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. In addition, watch out for alcohol. It can disturb both quality and quantity of sleep.

The right balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can help to reduce depression, stress, and other mental health disorders. Some also help to promote the production of melatonin, which regulates sleep.

The experts at SugarBear Hair also advocate certain herbs and essential oils. Valerian root, for example, has long been used to help promote sleep. Passion flower is another popular choice.

Lavender, bergamot, and more may also help you achieve better sleep, along with more relaxation and stress-relief.

Stop Sleeping on Better Health

As you can see, sleep and mental health are deeply intertwined. Better sleep can improve mental health, and vice versa.

The tips in this guide can help you improve both your mental health and your sleep. If you’re still not feeling rested, then it might be time to consult with the experts.

Are you looking for more great tips to help you stay healthy this year? You’re in the right place. We have everything from workout routines to advice on diet and lifestyle.