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How to Explain Your Personal Cook to Your Practical Mom

chef shredding cheese on pasta

So, you either have a personal cook or you’re thinking of getting one. That’s great! You’re going to have delicious food every day and it’s going to be awesome… until you realize you’re going to have to tell your mom. Which might not be a big deal for some, but it might be a huge deal for those who have a very practical mom. 

Maybe your mother believes the best meal is one cooked yourself, which might be true, but maybe you’ve taken cooking classes and you still manage to burn scrambled eggs. Or maybe you don’t have time in your busy schedule and you just don’t like eating out. 

Either way, you’ve got to explain your personal chef some way to your mom. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some solid arguing points.

Your personal cook is not expensive

Just think about how much money you would spend eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, each week. And we’re not talking about those quick drive-thru meals or to-go meals. No, your personal chef makes you restaurant-quality meals that’ll last you the week, and the cost of that is far less than what you’d pay to eat three meals out at a restaurant. You can ask for a free quote today to compare to how much you spend a week eating out.

They save time

You’re a working adult who has things to get done with tight deadlines. Your personal cook goes out to get the finest ingredients for your meals, so you don’t have to go grocery shopping, and then they bring them to your kitchen to prepare and cook. After, they’ll package it away for you to eat throughout the week. When you come home late from work, you just reach into the fridge and pull out a fresh container of your favorite food and heat it up. Take it with you to work for lunch. Your personal chef saves you so much time. You can go out into the world and be the successful adult who still has time for hobbies and living life.

They cook healthy, home-cooked meals

Maybe your mom thinks that, since you’re getting delicious food all the time, you’re not being healthy. Everything will be made in your home with fresh ingredients, and you can see everything that goes into your meals. You can verify that nothing is processed or unhealthy. Plus, your personal meals will prevent you from stopping by the fast-food joint you always go to. Your mom will be proud.

Your personal cook isn’t a random stranger

You didn’t find your personal chef off the street or just bump into them at the grocery store. No, this special person who cooks for you knows what they’re doing, and they’re ready to cook for you. If your mom thinks you’re inviting a complete, random stranger into your home, you can kindly explain that Hello Cheffy only has reputable chefs. They have experience and they love cooking for you!

It’s like having a best friend who cooks for you

Okay, we’re not saying you’re paying for a best friend. You’ve got plenty of those already. But just like your friend knows your favorite food and dangerous allergies, your personal chef know exactly what to make and what ingredients to avoid. Your personal chef is here to cook for you and make your life easier and your food yummier. So yeah, your chef is your best friend who cooks for you. 

Safety

But jumping back to allergies. Your personal cook knows your dietary restrictions, and they’re cooking in your home with fresh ingredients. If you have a nut allergy, your home kitchen will likely be free from all nuts and your personal chef won’t bring any food or ingredients containing nuts anywhere near. Your mom will have peace of mind knowing your food won’t be contaminated inside your home. Restaurants are good at keeping cross-contamination to a minimum (like with bacteria and viruses that lead to food-borne illnesses) but they aren’t usually able to avoid cross-contact (food touching other food) like your personal chef can.

At the end of the day, moms just want the best for you. They want to be sure you’re using your money wisely, eating healthy, and just keeping safe. Talk to her using these points, but let her try a meal your personal chef cooked first. She’ll be much more accepting after eating something delicious and healthy!

7 Little Ways to Make Your Birthday Party Extra Special

Lighting birthday cake candles.

Once every year, you get one big day: Your Birthday. You only get one every 365 days, so you have to make a big deal about it. Birthday parties are a great way to commemorate and create memories to celebrate a wonderful year that has passed. However, as more years pass, it gets harder and harder to remember each individual party. Every birthday should be special and memorable, so here are seven little ways to make your birthday party extra special.

1 Try Different Birthday Cakes

Don’t ditch the cake with candles, but if you want to set your party apart from others, try to incorporate a different dessert. If you’re not tied down to the traditional vanilla or chocolate birthday cakes, explore new ones to make a more memorable birthday party. Just imagine being able to remember each birthday by the cake flavor you had each year. However, make sure that you actually like the cake before your special day. You don’t want to be stuck with a flavor you absolutely despise and have that sour the rest of your birthday party. Go outside the traditional birthday cake. You can try a cheesecake or a tres leches cake if you want to try something truly different!

2 Try Different Foods

Like with the cake, if you aren’t set on one kind of food, try different kinds. It’s a day to celebrate you, so pamper yourself and have food that you wouldn’t get on a daily basis. Make it different from your everyday lunch and dinner so your birthday party will feel even more special. Try foods you don’t often get and don’t hold back! You can get cajun food, Thai, sushi, tacos, barbecue and so much more! Just get something you don’t normally allow yourself to dive into!

3 Hire a Personal Chef

Your party should be somewhere you’re most comfortable, so why not from your own home? Hello Cheffy has chefs with so many different specialties, you’ll be sure to have a spectacular and unique party with delicious foods. Your party will be in the comfort of your own home with a personal chef cooking and doing all the work. It’ll be stress-free and you’ll have a delicious, personal meal that’ll be sure to impress both you and your guests. You can get a no-obligation quote for your birthday party at hellocheffy.com.

4 Serve Mocktails Along with Your Cocktails

Not everyone drinks alcohol but you don’t want to exclude them from the party. Let them join in the fun with a mock drink! This creates a much more inclusive party that will help everyone feel welcome. Get a more sophisticated atmosphere at your party by giving an option other than soft drinks and water. Self magazine published an article with some interesting mocktails you can serve at your birthday party.

5 Create Physical Birthday Invitations

Everything is online and digital and easy to forget about. A digital invitation can get lost under the thousands of texts or emails sent. Consider sending physical invitations by mail, or hand them out in person so guests have something to hold onto and put where they can see. It’ll help your guests remember your birthday and they’ll have a memento to keep.

6 Give Birthday Goodie Bags

Never let your guests go home empty-handed. If you want them to remember your party, give them a goodie bag with some candy, a thank you note, and/or a little keepsake to remember. You’ll want to thank them for celebrating and having a wonderful time with you at your birthday party. Plus, it’s a wonderful way to thank them in advance for any gifts they may have brought you for your birthday.

7 Take a Moment to Thank Everyone Who Has Helped You This Past Year

Birthday parties are meant to celebrate another beautiful year of your life accomplished. But of course, you didn’t do it on your own. If you want to make a difference at your party, you can take a moment to thank the people who made it to your party and who have supported you throughout the past year. Whether it’s your significant other, parents, guardians, best friends, or coworkers, take a moment and thank them for their contributions. This will help you feel grateful and will make your birthday party more meaningful.

Your birthday only comes once a year. Take advantage and throw a spectacular one with these little changes and set it apart from your previous years.

8 Undeniable Reasons to Love Celebrations

outdoor celebrations

When was the last time you celebrated something good that happened in your life? Take a moment and let those good memories come back to you. How did you feel? Content, happy, excited? No matter what you’re celebrating, here are eight undeniable reasons to love celebrations.

1 The Anticipation Motivates You

When life starts to get into that monotonous rhythm of sleep, eat, work, eat, work, eat, sleep, repeat, you just need something to pull you away. Celebrations do that perfectly. When you put that event on the calendar, all of a sudden, you have something to look forward to as you work. It’s the motivation—the mantra of “just a few more days of this and then I’ll be able to see my friends, eat great food, and relax”—to get yourself to put your best work out before the big day. Sometimes the anticipation is the best part of the party.

2 Celebrations Have Amazing Food

Now let’s talk about that food. It’s party time and obviously, there’s going to be delicious food. If it’s a home party, you might be having a potluck or even a personal chef, just something home-cooked and amazing. Celebrations are one of the few times when you’re allowed to just eat. You save up for that day by eating healthy so you can try a few things from whatever the hosts (or you) decided to provide for guests. Maybe you’re in for a surprise, something you’ve never tasted before! Or maybe you’re getting the special food you never eat unless you’re celebrating.

3 Celebrations Bring People Together

Let’s not forget about the guests. Whether it’s a Christmas work party, your friend’s birthday, or a cultural celebration, you’re going to meet amazing people or see old friends. Maybe you’ve had a party where you reconnected with someone or grew closer to someone. Either way, it’s fun looking back at memories you made with different people.

4 Celebrations Make You Happy

There has been so much research done that shows that celebrating makes you happier. It brings you out of that funk you’re in. Celebrations, by their vary nature, bring you to people. It just breaks you away from the life you’re in and gives you a moment to reset. It makes you happier.

5 Anything Can Be Celebrated

A birthday, work promotion, baby shower, move-in party, or even the end to your favorite television series that had the best run: you can celebrate it. Anything good that has happened is fair game for celebrating as long as it’s important to you. That means big or small, if you want to commemorate the moment, go ahead.

6 Celebrations Don’t Have To Be Expensive and Extravagant (But They Can Be If You’d Like)

Host them at home, find good deals! You don’t have to drive to a fancy restaurant and have an expensive, impersonal party. Instead, you can celebrate at home, maybe even hire a personal chef to cook for you and your guests! You can have a huge birthday party with hundreds of people or you can have ten friends come over to have an intimate gathering. No matter the size of your celebration, it’ll be great.

7 Celebrations Create Memories That Keep You In the Moment

Good things happen, but eventually, they fade away and pass. A celebration allows you to savor the moment and really take a moment to just bask in the moment. Every time you celebrate, it’s something out of the ordinary, right? It’s something to mark the occasion and it gives you a little snapshot for you to keep with you. Whether or not you take pictures, you get memories that stay with you. You can look back and smile at. It breaks you away and you’ll remember where you are.

8 You Can Celebrate on Your Own

Yes. You can celebrate on your own. You can do all the above on your own. The point of celebrating is to mark the occasion. If you can do that on your own, then kudos to you.

Celebrate everything! Enjoy the food, the company, the ability to just be in the moment and remember the good things that have happened. 

Five Healthy Eating Habits for 2019

healthy eating

Did you make healthy eating resolutions for the new year? Each new year often brings resolutions about eating habits. We resolve to start cooking again or to eat healthier. Then, we get back to work and back to routine and before we know it, we’re snacking on foods we vowed not eat again.

Instead of making promises to yourself that are impossible to keep, incorporate these five healthy eating habits into your 2019 routine.

Don’t go cold turkey

If there is anything you are planning to give up for 2019, be careful about giving it up cold turkey. It is often better to ease changes into your diet over time. Going cold turkey can lead to intense withdrawal symptoms, like headaches or mood swings, which can make you easily abandon the changes you set out to make. For instance, if you plan to change your diet to a plant-based one, it may be better to substitute plant-based foods for meat or meat products over the course of several weeks rather than stop eating meat all at once. This pattern will give your body time to adjust to changes in your new lifestyle.

Eat your veggies

Mom was right: eating vegetables is good for you. Raw vegetables are generally the healthiest preparation but you may find that you eat even more roughage if you make a habit of eating dishes that integrate veggies well. Breakfast is often a meal that is light on vegetables. Consider adding them to a egg scramble or omelet or to a homemade smoothie. Soups and salads are also great vehicles for getting more vegetables into your diet.

Cook homemade food

It can be difficult to know what you are eating when you are dining out. Preparing more foods at home can benefit your health, your waist and your wallet. If you have allergies or if any family members are on special diets, consider working with a personal chef to get nutritious and delicious meals at home. A personal chef can prepare meals for you or just help you meal planning.

Cull your shopping list

This tip is easy. If you don’t buy it, you’ll eat less of it. It is okay to splurge every so often but eliminate foods from your shopping list that add calories without adding nutrients.

Don’t drink your calories

This tip does not just apply to sugary drinks like soda. Remember that alcohol calories count too. Focus on drinking more water and no or low calorie beverage options. Water not only hydrates but it also gives you that full feeling that makes you want to limit the amount you eat.

Let these healthy eating tips replace your new year resolutions that have already fallen by the wayside.  Here’s to a happier, healthier new year. Cheers!

20 Insightful Quotes About Chefs That’ll Make You Love Them More

chefs grind all day

If you are lucky enough to have feasted on food prepared by a chef, you know that the chef’s work is a true labor of love. A chef must be a scientist: they must understand the alchemy of bringing flavors together masterfully. They often act as track stars as well, always on their toes as they dash around the kitchen. And, sometimes the chef is like a grandmother, bringing joy and comfort to all who are within sniffing distance of their latest culinary treat. If you are thinking about hiring a chef for your next event, don’t think. Just do it. Here are 20 insightful quotes to help you take the next step.

I always wanted to be a chef. Flavors and food were always of interest to me, but it was how those things brought friends and family together to celebrate not only the special occasions but everyday life. It has been a blessing that I have been able to pursue a career that creates a product that brings people together.

– Maneet Chauhan of chauhan ale and masala house

 

TV is a deformed vision, an excessive caricature. A chef has to be an artisan, not become a star.

– Alaine Ducasse

As a chef, you need to respect your guests and their needs. If they decide that they want to eat certain things and not eat others, if for religious reasons or just decide they don’t want to eat certain ingredients, you have to respect that.

– Joël RobucHon

 

Get to know the Chef and you will start to enjoy dining out even more.

– John Walters

As a chef, I got into this because I love the creative energy and I love the science, but I also love to feed people and make them happy.

– Christina Tosi of milk bar

 

As a chef, I feel it is my duty to make the most of what the earth gives us.

– Lidia Bastianich

I’ve been a cook all my life, but I am still learning to be a good chef. I’m always learning new techniques and improving beyond my own knowledge because there is always something new to learn and new horizons to discover.

– José Andrés, founder of world central kitchen

 

Sometimes, early in their careers, chefs make the mistake of adding one too many things to a plate to get attention. If a chef is just coming up with wiz-bang gimmicks on their plate, that has nothing to do with bringing real pleasure to people.

– Danny Meyer

I am not convinced with having a signature dish. The whole point of being a chef is going to a new place, adapting and curating a new menu as per the culture and community.

– Ranveer Brar

 

If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it’s not good cooking for yourself. The joy of is in cooking for others – it’s the same with music.

– will.i.am

The painter, sculptor, writer and musician are protected by law. So are inventors. But the chef has absolutely no redress for plagiarism on his work; on the contrary, the more the latter is like and appreciated, the more will people clamour for his recipes.

– Auguste Escoffier

 

Chef’s choice is my favorite. I’m super adventurous.

– Neil Patrick Harris

A chef is a mixture maybe of artistry and craft. You have to learn the craft really to get there.

– Wolfgang Puck

 

Anyone who’s a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: ‘Is it good? Does it give pleasure?’

– Anthony Bourdain

When a chef cooks for his own ego rather than his guests, he/she sets themselves up for ridicule and failure. In the end, it’s the service industry. Our goal is to make our guests happy through our cooking.

– Johnny Iuzzini, author of sugar rush

 

They say never trust a skinny chef, but the fact is, to stay healthy when you’re a chef means you have to work twice as hard.

– Marcus Samuelsson

A jazz musician can improvise based on his knowledge of music. He understands how things go together. For a chef, once you have that basis, that’s when cuisine is truly exciting.

– Charlie Trotter

 

Let’s face it: if you and I have the same capabilities, the same energy, the same staff, if the only thing that’s different between you and me is the products we can get, and I can get a better product that you, I’m going to be a better chef.

– Thomas Keller

As I mature as a chef, I no longer aim to pack multiple techniques and ingredients into a single dish. Realizing that restraint is more difficult, I find it often renders incredibly beautiful results.

– Daniel Humm, owner of eleven madison park

 

I feel like a princess with a knife. I’ve wanted to be an Iron Chef forever.

– Alex Guarnaschelli

 

7 Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Chef Services

personal chef

So, you’re ready to hire a personal chef?  Awesome!  Personal chefs are used by individuals who want to make a special occasion spectacular and by busy professionals who just don’t have time to cook healthy meals every day.  They are used by those with limited time or mobility, such as new mothers or those recovering from surgery.  Some hire chefs for birthday parties, anniversaries, holiday events or vacation rentals (think bachelorette party!). Whatever your need, this article helps to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about personal chef services.

What services are included when I hire a personal chef?

The chef will plan a menu for the occasion, shop for all ingredients, prep in advance, and cook and serve your meals. You have the option of having the chef cook on-site—which is the ultimate chef experience as you and your guests can then talk with the chef about meal prep—or you can choose to have your food delivered.  The chef will leave your kitchen as clean as it was before they arrived.

Is a personal chef affordable?

The service that a personal chef provides is comparable in price to the equivalent meal served in a restaurant.  Of course, if you order a gourmet burger, the price will be significantly less than filet mignon and lobster.  Prices will vary based on menu selections and the selected chef.  But for an in-home event, you get to skip the upcharge for beverages or any corkage fees that you would pay in a restaurant.  And, the convenience and experience of having a personal chef come to you is priceless.

>>Use our minimum budget calculator to find a recommended budget for your event.

Will a personal chef create dishes from my recipes?

If you have a recipe that you want the chef to prepare, be sure to share it with the chef when discussing menu options.  Many chefs will want to purchase and prep all ingredients themselves to ensure that all food is properly handled per food safety requirements.  Most chefs will happily prepare your recipe. But, keep in mind that one of the perks of having a personal chef is to be able to enjoy food prepared at home that you would not otherwise prepare yourself.

Is there an organic ingredient option?

Our personal chefs will create a personalized menu based on your preferences.  This includes using all organic ingredients (if requested) or preparing meals for special diets (like vegan, ketogenic or or low-sodium).  A personal chef will also make adjustments to recipes based on your dietary restrictions or food allergies.

When and where are meals prepared?

While meals can be prepared on-site or delivered, we highly recommend having meals prepared on-site.  Our chefs have keen culinary knowledge and love to share their passion for creating delicious food with others.  Having a personal chef prepare meals on-site will leave your guests with a memorable experience.  The chef will work with you to set up an arrival time.  Depending on the menu, arrival times can be two to four hours before the meal is to be served.  Larger events (such as weddings) may require an earlier arrival time.

How much advance notice does the chef need?

Ideally, we like at least 48 hours to give you competitive bids from personal chefs.  However, we have been able to find chefs for clients with as little as 24 hours notice.  Keep in mind that personal chefs often book earlier for weekend and holiday events.

Now that you are in-the-know, go out there and hire your personal chef.  You can get competitive bids from chefs on our service request page.

Cheers!

How to Throw a Successful Co-ed Baby Shower

co-ed baby shower

More and more women want to celebrate the new life they’re bringing into the world with the women and men who will be supporting them on this new journey of parenthood with a co-ed baby shower.  It takes a village to raise a child.  For many women, there are loving men in their lives who are part of that village and should be included in this celebration of new life.  Below are a few ways to throw a successful co-ed baby shower.

Games

Mommy or Daddy?

Write out a list of funny facts and/or stories from the childhoods of the mom and dad. Guests can guess whether the story is about mommy or daddy.

Songs with “baby”

Give guests five minutes to come up with as many songs with “Baby” in the title as they can. Whoever gets the most at the end of five minutes wins.

Time Capsule

Have your guests bring something that is “cool” from the new child’s birth year to put in a time capsule for them to open at a predetermined time.  For guests who can’t or don’t bring something, they can write down some of the top music for that year or a sweet memory they have of the parents from that year.

Food and Drink

Mocktails

For the pregnant mama and those not drinking alcohol, “momosas,” or “mocktails” (crafty, non-alcoholic beverages) can be served.  Men and those who are consuming alcohol can have beer in honor of the baby “brewing.”

“Baby” food

Finger food, or small bites served as “baby” food can be a fun way to serve up some appetizers.  Baby carrots, sliders, and grilled baby broccoli are just a few ideas.

Baby-Q

Everyone, especially guys, loves a good BBQ.  Isn’t it convenient that it can easily fit into a baby shower theme?

Favors

Baby succulents

Tiny succulents are adorable, plentiful, and inexpensive.  Giving your guests a tiny life of their own to take home is an adorable, gender neutral way to send them off.

Baby drinks

Almost all hard alcohol comes in a convenient shot size that can be found at nearly any grocery store these days. Guys and alcohol drinkers will certainly appreciate these babies.

“Pop”

For kids or non-drinking guests, sending them home with a soda-pop and a little bag of popcorn is a fun way of saying the mom is about to “pop!”

Parenthood can be a tough, but rewarding journey.  If there are men in the village to help with that journey, they should be there to celebrate from the beginning.  A co-ed baby shower is a great way to honor all the men and women in the village.

4 Must Do’s Before Booking Your Vacation Rental

vacation reantal

It’s Airbnb season!  Summertime is THE time for staycations and vacations.  Since summer starts this week, we thought we’d share with you some of our favorite tips on things to do before booking your vacation rental.

Vacation rentals are becoming a preferred way to save money and have a more authentic experience when travelling.  Whether you travel for work or pleasure, frequently or once in a while, renting a home can be a great and unique way to save money and ensure the creature comforts of home while on the road.  Here are four things you must do before booking your vacation rental.

Make a List of Must-Have Amenities

Before you finalize your stay, be sure to confirm that your vacation rental has all the amenities you need.  Depending on the length of and reason for your stay, you may decide you are willing to pay a little more for some of the added luxuries of home.  Annette White of Bucket List Journey notes, Many people overlook the included amenities when booking a vacation rental, but my best advice is to pay close attention to them. If you are traveling for a longer length of time an Airbnb that has a washer will save you money at the Laundromat, included WIFI means less trips to the local coffee shop, free breakfast saves on money spent dining out or at the grocery store and free parking for your rental car will keep you from having to park blocks away.” It is critical to consider which amenities you’ll need for your accommodations to make your stay a comfy one.

Scope Out the Neighborhood Near Your Rental

If you’re planning to spend more time out and about than in your vacation rental space, location will be more important for you.  Destination and adventure photographer Conor MacNeill of TheFella says this money-saving approach is worth it, “I normally pick rentals in a good location, as opposed to one having a lot of facilities. Can I walk to the local coffee shop in the morning? Perhaps I won’t need to Uber around if there are enough dining options within walking distance.”  Picking a vacation rental in the right location can save you money on and the hassle of local transportation.

Read Reviews and Limit Arrival Surprises

Reviews are definitely important.  Checking the bad reviews first can help you decide if there are any consistent problems with your vacation rental space and whether or not those problems are important to you. Josh McNair of California Through My Lens says that he almost never stays anywhere without reading reviews. According to McNair, “People will often look at the star rating but not dive into a few reviews. It is important to see what others liked and disliked about the spot and reviews allow you to do so.” It is easy to make a vacation rental look desirable in pictures, but reading the reviews is what will give real insight into how amazing (or ghastly!) your stay there will be.

Contact the Host for Discounts Before Booking

Hosts may list rentals based on a typical stay of one week or less, but if you plan to stay longer, contact the post about a longer term stay before booking on  Airbnb, VRBO or whatever travel website you use.

Matt Karsten of Expert Vagabond suggests,” Don’t be afraid to try and negotiate with a potential host for a discount on longer stays of 1 to 2 weeks or more. Oftentimes it’s less work for the host if guests stay longer, rather than trying to rent the location out to three or four different clients. The best way to do this is to contact the host directly first, before you hit the ‘book now’ button. Ask some questions, compliment them on the vacation rental, etc. Then try to get a slightly lower price saying something like ‘I really like your place, but I think it’s slightly out of our budget. Do you offer any special discounts for extended stays?’ The worst that will happen is they’ll say no. Or, you’ll save some money!”  The conversation also might lead to more insight about the rental or the neighborhood than what is posted on the travel website.

Now go forth and do your research!  Your summer vacation awaits.

Tips for a Successful Graduation Party for Blended Families

Graduation Party

When blended families get together for a big event, there can be a clash of traditions or expectations.  But it is possible for blended families to have healthy interactions and preserve the overall emotional wellness of everyone involved.  At this time of year, graduation is often an event that can bring joy—and tension—to family gatherings.  Below are a few tips for having a successful graduation party for blended families.

Keep the Focus

Remember what the celebration is about.  This party is about a milestone in the life of the graduate.  Whenever it seems like someone is losing sight of that, just simply bring the focus back to the graduate.  Ili Walter, PhD, LMFT of Family Therapy Basics urges, Keep your love for the graduate in mind as you collaborate with members of the blended family.  Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions and share the limelight. Perhaps one parent can host the graduation party, and one can host a meal. Separate events foster goodwill and give each parent the chance to honor their child’s accomplishment. Also, don’t forget to ask the graduate how they want to celebrate the milestone. An event designed around their desires will naturally invite a team spirit from family members.”

“Remember, the most important person in celebrating this milestone is the graduate.”

Keep It Light

The important thing to keep in mind during the graduation party are the accomplishments of the graduate.  Everything else can wait. Dr. Mathis Kennington, PhD, LMFT encourages all parents involved to lead through example,For blended families, happy and healthy graduations start from the top. To make sure your child experiences everything she or he should, parents need to communicate before the event to set boundaries and ground rules so that there’s no awkward family conflict that gets in the way of the celebrations. Even older children will only be as calm as their parents. So make co-parenting a priority long before graduation day arrives.” Be present for your awesome grad and keep things light.  This event should be memorable and fun!  If you’re having fun, it’ll encourage them to have fun too.

Keep the Peace

This special time is not the time to bring up grievances or let resentment cloud your judgment.  Let your graduate have their shining moment without letting any conflict parents may have get in the way of that.  Surely any problems can be set aside for one graduation party (and hopefully beyond that!). Give your grad the gift of peace on this day. Show them how proud you all are and encourage them to be proud of themselves.  Graduating is an amazing achievement! Keep it peaceful.

Whether there is a graduation, a wedding, or any other family celebration, put conflicts aside and focus on the the reason for the gathering.  Healthy blended families take effort from everyone involved. 

A Guide to Your Best Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day guide

Memorial Day weekend is a popular weekend to camp or go to the beach, but that also means crowds and traffic.  Hosting a Memorial Day BBQ in your own backyard is a great way to seize the three day weekend without dealing with the crowds.  Below is a guide to your best Memorial Day BBQ.

Set the Tone

When imagining the sounds of a relaxing Memorial Day BBQ, the sizzle of the grill is often accompanied by good music.  Much like the food itself, music will set the tone for your at-home get together. If you want your guests to lounge, some easy listening stations on Pandora Radio such as John Mayer, Frank Ocean, or Erykah Badu will soften the space.  To encourage a more lively atmosphere at your Memorial Day soirette, upbeat and kid-friendly artists like Imagine Dragons, P!nk, or Kelly Clarkson may be preferable. Think about what kind of mood you want to set for your guests and let the music work its magic.

Gourmet Grill Master

Bar-b-que food is a staple of Memorial Day traditions, but it doesn’t have to be the same old hot dogs and hamburgers.  If you want some more complex flavors to delight your palate, a personal chef might actually be the grill master you’re looking for. Don’t get stuck behind the grill. Hang out with your guests, enjoy the music, and participate in the fun!  Let your personal chef take care of the menu planning, shopping and cooking.

In Good Company

What matters most, of course, is good company.  Surrounded by friends and family, everyone is sure to make some meaningful Memorial Day memories.  Casual get-togethers like these are also great opportunities to invite people you’d like to get to know better.  If there’s some of your kid’s friends’ parents, newcomers at church, or new neighbors you would like to know, invite them!  Creating a Facebook event is a great way to see who’s interested.  BBQ food can be a good crowd-pleaser, no matter who is invited. 

Skip the beach and campground crowds.  Stay home this year and have a stress-free Memorial Day BBQ in your own backyard.  Kick-back, relax, and enjoy your three day weekend!