Summer Series – Summer Song (7.29.13)

July 29, 2013

Summer Series: Songs of the Summer

07292013_summer-vacation-series_songs_American-Greetings

The weather is warm, the sun is shining and your mood is light—now all you need are some great tunes to complete this happy scene.  We thought we’d end our Summer Series on a musical note, so here are our picks for the Top Ten Summer Songs that will give you the perfect soundtrack all season long…

Summer in the City, Lovin’ Spoonful

  • Released in 1966, this song shows that you don’t need a beach to capture the summertime spirit.

All Summer Long, Kid Rock

  • Kid Rock crossed over to country and his fans followed, making this song #1 across eight countries in 2008.

Walking on Sunshine, Katrina & The Waves

  • There’s something about 80s music that always gets the summer party started, even if there isn’t one.

Surfin’ USA, Beach Boys

  • Happy 50th anniversary to this timeless summer classic!

Soak Up the Sun, Sheryl Crow

  • This song kicked off the summer of 2002 with soulful style and still makes you want to turn up the radio.

Summertime, DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince

  • After hitting the scene in the 90s, this hip-hop hit still a cool way to liven up the day.

Dancing in the Streets, Martha & The Vandellas (among others)

  • Take your pick on your favorite version that has blared at block parties for nearly half a century.

Hot Fun in the Summertime, Sly & The Family Stone

  • How can we not include a song that became a hit at the biggest music festival ever?  Woodstock!

California Gurls, Katy Perry

  • Labeled by music critics as the “summer anthem” of 2010, this is best sung at the top of your lungs.

Saturday in the Park, Chicago

  • This 1973 classic instantly immerses you into the feeling of a sunny summer weekend, no matter what day it is.

Summer Nights, John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

  • It’s been 35 years since this song was made famous by the movie “Grease,” but we bet you can still sing along.

Family Quote (7.26.13)

July 26, 2013

Families Are…

Family Quote from StayInspired365.com

Congratulations Mood Board (Wednesday, 7.24.13)

July 24, 2013

You Did It–Congratulations!

Congratulations Mood Board from stayinspired365.com

Life has so many great moments to celebrate like the arrival of a new baby, your first home, a graduation, or a promotion at work. The list really is endless and the fun is in recognizing and sharing in those achievements. Let someone know you’re proud of them by texting a “woohoo,” sending a card with a heartfelt note, a gift, or perhaps the moment is so special it requires a party! It makes everyone feel good to share in the good times. Tell us about your favorite “woohoo” moment.

In the mood board, You Did It, Big! ecard from American Greetings

Summer Series – Recipes (7.22.13)

July 22, 2013

Summer Series: Summer Recipes

Summer Recipes from StayInspired365.com

It’s summertime and the cooking is easy!  With so many delicious foods in season, the only hard thing about serving up the perfect meal is narrowing down the choices.

Simple Summer Meals

Nobody wants to spend a warm day over a hot stove, which is why summer salads are excellent options for lunch and dinner—especially if you add chicken, steak or seafood.   If you’re packing a picnic, it’s fun to combine classic favorites with interesting updates such as a BLT dip and pinwheel sandwiches, along with low-maintenance desserts that stay fresh all day long.

Great Grilling Recipes

Although burgers and hotdogs tend to be the most common grill foods, it might be time for a new spin on some old favorites, like barbeque hot dogs and stuffed burgers.  Or, serve all the flavors of the season on one skewer with easy kabobs.  If you prefer steak or seafood but worry that your grilling skills might not make the cut, a mouth-watering marinade is your key to success.  And don’t forget to grill your side dishes, too! Grilled vegetables complement any summer meal perfectly…and keep all the cooking out of kitchen.

The Coolest Cocktails

While water is certainly the best way to stay hydrated in the sunshine, it’s so much more fun to cool off with a creative summer drink.  For many people, iced tea is the official taste of summertime, but there are also plenty of occasions to keep the cocktails  flowing.  Non-alcoholic treats such as Watermelon Lemonade or an Orange Creamsicle Smoothie are refreshing options for kids—and a fun way to keep everyone in the summertime spirit!

Summer Quote (Friday, 7.19.13)

July 19, 2013

Appreciate the Sunsets…

Sunset Quote from stayinspired365.com

Summer Series Kickoff (7.15.13)

July 15, 2013

Summer Series Kickoff 07152013_summer-vacation-series_packing_American-Greetings

With the sunshine season in full swing, today begins a series of summer-themed topics to help you enjoy these lazy, hazy days in the most wonderful ways.

First Stop:  Summer Vacation!

Whether you’re going on a short jaunt or a long trip, here are some tips to simplify the travel process and maximize the fun:

Packing

  • Keep a packing list and write things down immediately when you think of them.
  • Limit your luggage to what you can wheel or wear.    
  • Pack coordinating clothing items that can be interchanged—and layered.
  • Don’t pack more than one dressy outfit; clothes that require ironing; or anything you haven’t worn before.
  • Do pack extra underwear.
  • Zip-lock bag it!  If something can leak, it probably will.  And an entire kid’s outfit can fit in one bag…and then be used for dirties.
  • Stuff socks inside shoes.
  • Don’t forget chargers.  And be sure to check each outlet at the end of every trip.  
  • Always pack a first aid kit.    
  • If you’re staying with someone, bring a small gift for your host.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

  • Keep what’s needed within reach.  In a car, this includes cleaning supplies and emergency items.  Baggies also come in handy to corral your necessities such as gum, tissues, iPod, and anti-bacterial wipes.
  • For any long trip, bring your own blanket and/or pillow.
  • Layer your outfit for changing temps.
  • Pack an activity bag for kids (and yourself) with new surprises and reliable favorites.
  • Always bring snacks!

Safety First

*Put your credit card on travel alert before you go.*

  • Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket or your purse on your shoulder.
  • Never leave your valuables in your vehicle.
  • Closely inspect all final bills—and don’t be afraid  to question extra charges.

Make it Memorable

  • Ask locals for suggestions on restaurants, directions and activities.
  • Keep a journal.  You’ll be amazed at how much you would’ve forgotten if you didn’t write it down.
  • Take tons pictures and videos, but don’t forget to enjoy the moment while you’re capturing it.
  • Spring for that silly souvenir!  It will surely inspire a smile in years to come.

Kindness Quote (Friday, 7.12.13)

July 12, 2013

Always Be Kind!

Kindness Quote from stayinspired365.com

Hoppy Birthday Mood Board (7.10.13)

July 10, 2013

Jump for Birthday Joy!

Summer Birthday Mood Board from stayinspired365.com

Don’t you just love summer birthdays? They’re the best excuses ever for celebrating and having fun! And if you’re one of those people who just naturally see the lighter side of things—always up for a smile or a good laugh—you’ll be happy to know we have a whole selection of some pretty hilarious funny ecards and birthday ecards that are perfect for that super-fun friend who’s about to step into the birthday spotlight.    

In the mood board: Hoppy Birthday Talking ecard from American Greetings

Ramadan (Monday, 7.8.13)

July 8, 2013

Observing Ramadan!

About Ramadan from StayInspired365.com

Ramadan takes place during what is considered the holiest and most blessed month of the Islamic calendar—the time when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and calls for Muslims to abstain from food and drink for 30 days during daylight hours.

Each year, there are varying start and end times around the world depending on the lunar calendar. During Ramadan, fasting begins at dawn and continues through sunset. This year, Ramadan in the United States is estimated to begin on Tuesday, July 9, once the new moon is sighted, and continue for approximately 30 days until Wednesday, August 7.

In addition to fasting, Muslims observing Ramadan pray, take time for inward reflection and to focus on their faith as well as complete charitable acts. Mosques throughout the United States and around the world hold night prayers called Taraweeh in which the entire Quran is recited over the 30-day period.

Before the sun rises, most Muslims begin the day with prayer and the suhoor or early morning meal. Once the sun sets, fresh or dried dates are used to break the fast, as was the known tradition of the Prophet Muhammad. Breaking of the fast includes prayer and the evening Iftar—a meal eaten with family that often features nutritious and hydrating foods to help sustain and replenish the body from the fast.

At the conclusion of Ramadan, the three-day festival of Eid-al-Fitr begins and men, women and children attend mosque for special prayers. During the celebration, homes are decorated with lights and time is spent with family and friends to enjoy large meals and exchange gifts.

Summer Quote (Friday, 7.5.13)

July 5, 2013

Summer Cool…

Summer Quote from stayinspired365.com

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