Hillary Chybinski

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

How to Create the Perfect Summer Movie Night


Ahhh. . .the promise of a perfect summer night . . .is there anything better? And now that school is over, and kids' activities have settled down for the summer lull, it's the perfect time to plan some quality relaxing family time, preferably in the outdoors. Thanks to Best Buy for sponsoring this post.

outdoor movie spaceFamily Movie Night has long been a winter favorite. When it's too blustery, dark and cold to go out, families hunker down in living rooms and finished basements, pop corn and watch a variety of popular movies and TV shows. Gone are the days of the VCR and even the DVD, replaced by Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu! But why should this family time favorite be kept in the cold?? Why not start enjoying your family movie night in the great outdoors this summer?

Outdoor living spaces are gaining in popularity, even in areas without "perfect" weather. Covered decks, outdoor kitchens and old-fashioned screened-in porches are all cropping up on Pinterest and Instagram as an extension of home decorating and living space. I for one, would love to have an outdoor living space like this one:

Outdoor living space


But what do you really need for a great outdoor, summer family movie night? It doesn't have to be fancy or lavish . . .a simple covered space and some seating is a great place to start! Let's go over a few of the must-haves, that will quickly kick your outdoor family movie night up a notch or two!

Movie Night Seating

First up, you need comfortable seating or lounging space. Even movie theaters have gotten on-board with this, offering those cozy lounge chairs where you can put your feet up and relax. At your house, this could be Adirondack chairs, upholstered couches, sand or beach chairs, inflatable floats and rafts, just about anything! Gather up some extra pillows and make a cozy area to relax in your space.  Floor cushions can be a great addition that you can stack up in a corner or closet when not in use.

Movie Night Snacks

You can't watch a movie without snacks - right?? We all know that s'mores are the perfect summer snack. If your outdoor space includes a firepit, why not set up a s'mores bar? You could add a variety of graham crackers, marshmallows and candy, arranged in mason jars or simple white bowls. Other ideas include an ice cream sundae bar or a popcorn and candy station. For a fun popcorn and candy station, get some movie box popcorn at your favorite store and arrange it in a tray. Add a big bowl of popcorn, with some smaller bags for individual servings while movie-watching and add some toppers. Besides the traditional salt and butter, you could try Old Bay, or even a dark chocolate drizzle!

s'mores


Movie Night Drinks 

Don't forget a drink station! Keep it simple and self-serve so no one has to miss the movie waiting on the guests! If you have an outdoor refrigerator, pack it with family faves. No refrigerator? No worries, get a few coolers filled with ice and cans of fun flavored seltzers and juices, or consider a sangria bar or pitcher of mojitos for the grown-ups!  Let the movie set your stage and get creative!

Mojitos summer drink


Movie Night Outdoor Screen

Of course the star of the show is the movie screen. Who else has tried moving their current TV outside? It's not an ideal set up for sure! Wouldn't it be amazing to have a TV designed for outdoor use? One you could see perfectly that didn't have to be covered or taken down in bad weather? 

Well the Veranda Series of SunBriteTVs (which you can find at your favorite Best Buy store) are designed specifically for outdoor use! They're engineered to survive just about ANY climate in North America, resisting the harsh effects of rain, snow, dust, insects, and extreme temperatures. Which seems just about perfect here int he Philadelphia suburbs! The SunBriteTV Veranda is a family of weatherproof televisions designed for full-shade outdoor spaces, like covered patios and screened-in porches.

Remember when we were talking about moving your indoor TV outdoors?? Well, Veranda comes standard with a direct-lit 4K UHD screen with HDR, which is up to 50% brighter than indoor TVs for improved viewing in brighter outdoor environments. It’s more durable, safer, and a better experience than using an indoor TV outdoors. That sounds PERFECT for a summer movie night! And with a variety of sizes available, there's one to fit any space.

And now, the very best seat in the house, just may be outside!

Outdoor TV

Looking for additional information on the Veranda SunBriteTVs? Visit your local Best Buy store or check them out on Facebook or Twitter! Here's some specs to get you started:
  • Weatherproof TV built for full-shade outdoor living areas 
  • Powder-coated rust-proof aluminum exterior protects internal components from rain, snow, dust, insects, humidity, and salt air. 
  • Up to 50% brighter than indoor TVs for improved viewing in brighter outdoor environments. 
  • 4K UHD with HDR
  • Large weatherproof media bay makes cable connections easy. It has plenty of storage room for many popular media players, and thick gaskets seal out moisture and the elements
  • Available in 43”, 55”, 65” and 75” sizes - perfect for any outdoor space!
catch you soon -

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Easy Overnight Oats: Apple and Cinnamon

Apples and Cinnamon Essential Oil

Have you tried overnight oats? I resisted this healthy breakfast trend for MONTHS before I finally pulled out my mason jars and got my ingredients together. I've tried several recipes, and have a basic one that works perfectly fine, but last week I stumbled across a yummy fall flavor idea.

For my basic  overnight oats, I use a half cup of oats, a half cup of unsweetened almond milk and a tablespoon of chia seeds. I mix these together in "jelly" size mason jars and put them in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, I add a scoop of Young Living Spiced Vanilla Pure Protein Complete and a spoonful of frozen berries.

Monday, December 31, 2018

One Little Word 2019

2019 word of the year is grow

It's that time of the year again. . .time to select a guiding word for the upcoming year. If you've been around the blog for a while, you may know that I have been a follower of this practice since way back in 2008.

Yes, ten years ago, I selected one little word, with inspiration from Ali Edwards. Every fall since then, a word has whispered at my subconscious. Last year's word was "believe." If asked, I will tell you that I am a terrible goal-setter. It isn't that I don't have goals - I do. It's that the act of writing them down and putting them into words terrifies me.

That seems silly, doesn't it? What's the big deal? Goal: I want to lose 10 pounds. Goal: I want to plan menus every week. See, I can actually do it. But those aren't my "real" goals. . .or maybe they are. Perhaps this is one of those things that I make WAY harder than it really needs to be. For that reason, I choose the One Little Word philosophy over the goal-setting, resolution-making philosophy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

5 Things I'm Doing Now to Make the Year Ahead Easier

Planning for the New Year

In case you just met me, I'm a little bit of a planner. I've been called "Type-A", "particular" and yes, even "anal retentive". Truth be told, I probably have a decent amount of un-diagnosed OCD tendencies. But I'm okay with that - planning is my super power.

If planning and setting-up systems isn't YOUR super-power, I've got five easy ways that you can set yourself up for a great year ahead!

Monday, November 05, 2018

Keep Family Traditions, Even When Your Oldest Goes off to College

College Planning and Family Traditions

We are entering a new phase or season of our family life . . . we are about to send our first-born off to college next fall. I can't believe how quickly we got to this point. It seems like only yesterday we were taking him to the zoo and stopping in at our local fire station on a weekly basis.

I began to realize rather quickly that this year would be filled with last "firsts," like the last "first day of school picture" and the last "first fall lacrosse league game," as well as first "firsts," like our first senior portraits and our first college application. Needless to say there are a lot of highs and lows and emotions are running all over the place for all of us.

One of the things I've been thinking about a lot lately are our family traditions and how this shift in our every day will affect those traditions in the year (and years) to come. We aren't sure where he will land at this point, but at least all the schools he's looked at are less than a 3-hour drive away. So I can breathe deeply knowing that unless there's bad weather, he'll be home for the major holidays.