Categories
Event

Thank Gin it’s Virtual: 5 Cocktail Recipes for Virtual Events

Sometimes, virtual events/meetings are made fun with a cocktail or two! Shake up your next virtual event by rounding up your friends and hosting a virtual mixer they won’t forget!

Blackberry Mojito 

 Ingredients:

  • – 2 oz. white rum
  • – 1/2 oz. lime juice (squeezed fresh)
  • – 1 tsp. superfine sugar
  • – 3 mint leaves
  • – ½ cup blackberries
  • – club soda or seltzer

Directions:

  • – In a small bowl, muddle blackberries. Set aside.
  • – Place mint leaves in the bottom of the glasses. Divide and spoon blackberry mixture on top. Add rum, sugar, and lime juice and stir to combine. Top with crushed ice.
  • – Add club soda and garnish with mint leaves and more blackberries.

Rosemary Gin Fizz 

Ingredients: 

For the Rosemary simple syrup–

  • – 1 c. water 
  • – 1 c. granulated sugar
  • – 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

For the drink–

  • – 2 oz. gin
  • – 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • – 1 oz. rosemary simple syrup
  • – 1 large egg white
  • – Ice
  • – 2 oz. seltzer
  • – Lemon round, for garnish
  • – Rosemary, for garnish

Directions:

  • – Make rosemary simple syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar, and rosemary. Bring to a boil and stir until all sugar is dissolved, pressing rosemary against the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release its oils. Let cool to room temperature, then strain into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • – Make drink: Combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 10 to 15 seconds to combine all ingredients. Fill shaker with ice and shake 10 to 15 seconds more, or until chilled.
  • – Strain into serving glass, top with seltzer, and garnish with lemon and rosemary.

 

Frozen Sangria Margarita 

Ingredients:

For the Sangria swirl– 

  • – 1 c. red wine
  • – Juice of 1 orange
  • – Juice of 1 lime
  • – 2 c. ice

For the Margarita Swirl–

  • – 1 can frozen limeade concentrate
  • – 2 shots tequila
  • – 2 c. ice

Directions:

  • – Blend sangria mixture. Transfer mixture to the freezer while you blend margarita mixture.
  • – Rinse blender and blend margarita mixture.
  • – On a small plate combine sugar and salt. Run a wedge of lime around the rim of a glass and dip in sugar and salt. Alternate layers of sangria and margarita.
  • – Garnish with lime and serve.

Pomegranate Grapefruit Frose 

Ingredients: 

  • – 1 ounce pomegranate vodka (Van Gogh)
  • – 3 ounces rosé wine
  • – 1 ounce grapefruit juice (ruby red)
  • – 1/4 ounce lemon juice (fresh)
  • – 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • – 1 cup ice
  • – Garnish: mint or thyme sprig
  • – Garnish: strawberry slice

Directions:

  • – Gather all the ingredients and pour the liquids into a blender and quickly blend them together. Add the ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled cocktail or margarita glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint or thyme and a slice of strawberry.
  • – Serve and enjoy!

Indian Summer Bourbon Cocktail 

Ingredients: 

  • – 2 ounces good bourbon
  • – 1/4 ounce limoncello
  • – 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • – 1 tablespoon apricot jam heaping
  • – 8-12 fresh sage leaves

Directions:

  • – Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill the shaker with ice. Cover and shake vigorously 12-15 times. Fill a small tumbler with ice and double-strain into the cocktail into the glass.
  • – Garnish with a fresh sage leaf.

 

Categories
Family

Summer Events with Social Distancing in Mind

Written by Skyy DeAngelo

Summer is on the horizon! As COVID restrictions begin to lift, we can press play on our summer gatherings and begin enjoying time with our community without Zoom–thank goodness! However, it’s important we still maintain a sense of caution when gathering together with those we care for. Here are a few socially distanced party ideas to enjoy while keeping safety in mind, but without compromising on fun! 

  •  > Flower Arranging Party: Flowers are an integral part of life. They lift the spirit and improve the overall mood on any given day. But what’s even more therapeutic than looking at flowers, is playing with flowers! You don’t have to have an excuse to ever play with flowers, but if you are hosting a bridal shower, baby shower, or even a birthday party consider adding this as an entertainment piece. Find a flower expert in your local area and gather a small group of your gals for an afternoon of flower arranging! You’ll be able to share your stories and experiences as you create something beautiful. Find an open, shaded, outdoor space where you can host your party. If you decide to have it at a venue or inside your home, be mindful of the number of guests you invite and where everyone will be sitting. After you complete your gorgeous arrangements, find the perfect place for them in your home, or gift them to bring a smile to someone’s face. Flowers By Yona hosts fantastic Flower Arranging parties, providing all of the essentials needed for you to create beautiful arrangements through the art of storytelling.

 

  • > Paint Party: Replace your computer screen with a canvas and release your inner artist! A socially distanced paint party can be enjoyed in the comforts of your home with friends or the kiddos. Transform the largest space in your home into an art studio where guests can spend time creating beautiful masterpieces. Paint With a Twist has Twist at Home Kits that can be ordered and picked up. Included in the kit is a canvas, all the paint colors needed to create your selected masterpiece, paint brushes (for keeps!), other essentials, and written instructions along with a video link to follow along with your instructor to complete your painting.

 

  • > Pop-Up Pool Party: Bummed you’re having to spend your summer away from the poolside? Well, having a pool party isn’t completely out of the question! Throw a backyard pool party with giant inflatables, cocktails (or juice boxes), and some summer tunes. Minnidip has a stylish line of adult-friendly kiddie pools! Space out a few of these in your backyard for a pop-up pool party to keep yourself and others cooled off and entertained this summer. Add a couple of loungers for those who want to soak in the sun, but don’t forget to bring out the Super Soakers and water balloons for a contactless game of tag! No pool party is complete without burgers and hot dogs on the grill.

 

Categories
Family

Quarantine Fun: DIY Movie Projector

As the weather begins to warm up and the days get longer, you’ll have more time to spend enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. Now’s the time to begin planning your backyard outings. Create a backyard movie theater for outdoor entertainment this summer! This guide will show you in 5 easy steps how to get started in creating your own movie projector!

Materials needed for your DIY Projector:
  • – Shoe box 
  • – Magnifying Glass that is 5x magnification (NOTE: When purchasing your magnifying glass be sure it does not contain a smaller lens inside. This will distort your picture)
  • – Pen/Marker
  • – Velcro strips (These can be found on Walmart, Amazon, or Home Depot
  • – Box Cutter
  • – Black Tape
  • – Black Paint 
  • – Smartphone 

 

STEP I: 

You’ll start by taking the magnifying glass out of the frame. Once that’s out, place the glass on one end of the box and trace a circle with your pen or marker; making sure that the circle gets traced on part of the lid as well. With your box cutter, carefully cut the circle out. 

STEP 2: 

Paint the inside of the box black, and allow it to dry! 

STEP 3: 

Once your paint is dry, you’ll take the lens and securely fit it inside the circle you’ve previously cut. You’ll then take your black tape and use it to secure the lens around the edges so that it is nice and snug, making sure there are no gaps. 

STEP 4: 

On the back of your smartphone, you’ll attach two velcro strips. Inside the back of the box, you’ll attach two more velcro strips. These will help your phone stay sturdy and in place when you put your phone inside the box.

STEP 5:

Before placing your phone inside the box, be sure to lock the screen orientation and insert it with the picture displayed upside down. The magnifying glass will flip the image and project it on whatever surface you play it on! 

 

A perfect movie night isn’t complete without the essentials! Make sure you have your snacks, drinks, and blankets to get ready for a summer full of fun spent under the stars; enjoying your favorite movies with the ones you love!

Categories
Family Uncategorized

5 Recipes to Enjoy Cinco de Mayo + Taco Tuesday

Written by Skyy DeAngelo

While we’d all love to be at our neighborhood Cantinas on Cinco De Mayo, enjoying some of our favorite tacos, we’ll all have to celebrate a little bit differently this year. You can still spend time with the ones you love while trying your hand at perfecting these showstopper taco recipes.

Serve up your tacos on some colorful dishware for the occasion, and wash them down with Mexican Cola or a party pack of Jarritos!

Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp Tacos With Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

These Hawaiian inspired shrimp tacos will take your taste buds to the next level. Packed with sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors and topped with a creamy jalapeño sauce. 

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos

These vegan tacos will not disappoint. The shredded jackfruit mimics shredded pork in the beloved carnitas taco. But you won’t miss the meat after chowing down on these flavorful tacos! 

Steak Korean Tacos with Asian Pear Slaw 

If you’re a fan of Beef Bulgogi, you will love these Korean Beef BBQ Tacos! Loaded with a crisp Asian Pear Mango Slaw and drizzled with a homemade taco sauce, what’s not to love?

Baja Fish Taco 

The Baja Fish Taco is your twist on a classic fish taco. The flavorful blend of crispy, crunchy, and spicy will make this taco a new favorite.

Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos

The honey chipotle chicken is definitely the star of the show, but what really takes these to the next level is the BLT SLAW. Topped and finished with a refreshing cilantro, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Complete your spread by serving your street tacos with these tasty sides 

  1. Street Corn Salad
  2. Avocado and Tomatillo Green Chile Salsa + Baked Flour Tortilla Chips
  3. Churros with Chocolate & Espresso Sauce 

 

Categories
COVID-19

What COVID-19 has Taught me so far

Written by Samantha Proctor

It’s day 62,843 of quarantine, right?  I’d be lying if I said I haven’t worn the same outfit for 3 days in a row…oops.  Most days I can’t even remember if it’s Tuesday or Friday, or if I’ve eaten anything today. What I do know is that this pandemic is something that our generation, heck, even the generation before us, has never seen. I don’t know how to navigate this, and going to my parents for advice is useless. For me, this has been a period where I am in uncharted territory. We are having to figure this out alone. Luckily, we’re 3 weeks in and some very valuable life lessons have been learned! These made a huge impact on my family so far,  and I pray they help you as well! 

 

Family comes first

I am so lucky to work for a company that has always instilled this in their employees. I do have workaholic tendencies, but being a 39 week expectant mom has really made this sink in. At the end of the day, I have to do what’s best for my husband, my unborn son, and myself. The thought of going anywhere that I could bring germs into my house is a scary thought. I am learning each day that regardless of what is going on outside of my house, it isn’t near as important as what is happening and who is inside my house. 

 

Even if you feel alone, you’re not

This time of ‘quarantine’ or isolation, whatever you want to call it, is sad. Especially when your spouse is an ‘essential’ worker, and you find yourself spending all of your time at home alone. The feelings of loneliness tend to creep in during this time. I had to remind myself, and still have to, that this is temporary. Quarantine will not last forever. I am not alone, because hundreds of thousands of people all over Georgia are in the same boat. If they can do it, we can too. Just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. 

 

Control what you can

This kinda brings me back to the ‘family comes first’ point. I have learned that I can control what happens in my house, and for the most part, control what my family does. What I can’t control is how the media thrives on our fear and anxiety, and I can’t control how irresponsible other people are. What I can control is how much attention I give the media and I can control my decisions to stay as sanitary as possible. This situation that we’re stuck in has really forced me to let go of the reigns.

 

Let go and let God

A huge part of letting go of control is letting God have it. My faith has really been tested during this pandemic. Jeremiah 29:11 has been playing in my mind for the past 62,843 days (okay, I’m being dramatic, more like 20!): “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  God has us in His hands. He knows how this will all play out, and I have to put my trust in that–even when I don’t want to. Even when I am feeling alone, sad, and like the world is crashing down around me, God has my back (and yours!). 

Moral of the story is we are going to be okay. Our anxieties may be high, we may be seeing business repercussions of this global pandemic, we may be feeling alone and depressed, but write this down: “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” Read it, write it down, say it aloud. Make it your mantra for this time–and really for every day. We’ve got this, friends! There is a light at the end of the tunnel! 

Categories
Give Back

How to Participate in Giving Tuesday

We can agree donating your time, energy, or money is possible to do any time of the year. However, some people need another reason or push to gather friends, family or coworkers for one cause. Giving Tuesday is the extra reason to volunteer or donate! December 3, 2019 is a day to devote your energy into giving back. Whether it is a neighbor or local organization, we encourage you to get out and do something kind for someone else. 

In this holiday season, there are numerous individuals and families in need of something you have the ability to supply–especially in Gwinnett County. To learn where you are needed, click here! We even found some of our members on their list: Obria Medical Clinics is in need of your time, energy, or monetary donations. If you are interested in volunteering with them, learn more about their objectives here.

Let us know if you’re able to volunteer local this Giving Tuesday!

 

Categories
Family Uncategorized

Fall Activities to do with Your Family

With fall starting in a couple of weeks, you’re probably planning all the ways to enjoy this season! Because of the festivals and cider, fall is without a doubt one of our favorite times of the year. As it starts to cool down, you need to get outside to enjoy the crisp air – especially when you’re cooped up in an office all day (even one as cool as ours). If you haven’t had the time to think about what you’ll do to celebrate this season, we’ve pulled a few of our favorite ideas to get you started. 

Gwinnett County Fair

The fair is back! As a traditional fall activity, the fair offers a ton of games, rides, and fun for your family. Although it can get pricey, it’s a great way to get out and feel fall in the air. It starts Saturday, September 12, so go ahead and purchase your tickets! You will not want to miss it!

Buford Corn Maze

Another great, local option is the corn maze! Right now, they have just the maze, but starting September 20, they’re opening their annual Haunted Forest. They also have a pumpkin patch so you can purchase a pumpkin to take home! And don’t forget to take a family photo or enjoy a hayride. With plenty of fun activities, you’ll have an entire night of things to do!

Burt’s Pumpkin Farm

This one is a little more of a drive, but perfect on a fall day! Located in Dawsonville, you’ll experience the beauty of North Georgia while also getting all your fall necessities. Make sure you go on a hayride and pick out the best pumpkins! While you’re in Dawsonville, make sure you take a trip to Dahlonega to enjoy the square and amazing restaurants.

Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe

You officially have plenty to do, so now you can enjoy a day inside with your favorite movies, a fall candle, and this delicious recipe. You most likely have all the ingredients lying around the house, so this simple recipe shouldn’t take too long. Check out the recipe here, and let us know if you try it!

 

Categories
Family Technology

Setting Tech Boundaries: How Age Defines Their Tech Time

Technology usually accompanies a family outing when you have kids. Tablets, phones, TVs, and laptops are placed in front of children starting at a young age. Many times, this effort is used as a way to entertain the child while parents are working or having other conversations. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) claims there is a lack of development in kids aged 2-5 because of their screen time. According to the AAP, around one hour of “high-quality” screen time is all a little one needs. Because there is a lot of mental/motor development happening in the first few years of life, it’s important kids spend these crucial years honing their skills.

UNDER 5 YEARS OLD

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new study, any child under 2 should not have screen time. Instead, allow them to play with age appropriate toys to help build their cognitive and motor skills as well as language acquisition. For children ages 3-4, they should only have around 60 minutes of leisure screen time. Fiona Bull with the WHO says there is more research needed to determine excessive screen time side effects, but the ultimate goal is to promote physical activities and interaction.

KIDS & TEENS

This age group is much broader in terms of age and accessible content, but research has yet to narrow down specific time limits. The main recommendation from the AAP is to limit their time and access to devices. If you missed our Parents and Tech Lunch & Learn (you can click here to read the event summary), Jay Lowrance shared a lot of great information and tactics on managing screen time for kids. One valuable (and shocking) piece of information he said was about 99% of screen time is used for consumption and less than 1% is used for creativity. If you’re not sure how to use screen time to benefit their growth, find creative outlets that allow them to learn new skills or craft ones they already have.

ADULTS

Examining screen time habits in children is all about prevention. Many adults are already addicted to their devices and spend more than 10 hours/day on them. Although you most likely need a laptop or other device to complete your job, the “addiction” comes into play when you’re checking your device routinely or indulging screen time after work. If Netflix or games are how you destress at the end of the day, you should read a book (without the use of a device) or find another activity to take you away from technology.

 

Additional Resources:
  • https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/09/how-to-manage-your-child-s-screen-time/
  • https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Children-and-Media-Tips.aspx

 

Categories
Technology

Parents + Tech: Teaching Parents to Monitor Screen Usage

Cornerstone Coworking member Jay Lowrance, owner of Lowrance Media, held a Lunch and Learn to help parents understand trendy apps and how to safely monitor how kids are interacting with them. As children are being introduced to more technology, whether through school or as they become old enough to have their own devices, parents need to equip themselves with current technology trends. Jay not only owns his own media group, but he is also a father to four children and personally experiences the need and desire to learn more about technology.

Parents face many challenges, like using technology as a distraction, dealing with social pressures, and the fact that adults are technology natives. Growing up with technology means we are more inclined to hold accounts or be familiar with current apps/platforms, even if we are not active on them. But as kids are getting older and technology is becoming more apparent in their lives, they are also starting to face new challenges. Now, instead of only dealing with social pressures to stay on trend with clothing/accessories, they are also hit with social challenges of technology. The age of kids owning devices is getting earlier and there are more expectations with it in school. 

Luckily, Jay Lowrance offered practical advice to help you manage your kids’ technology time and even participate in what they’re doing. Jay mentioned “roadblocks,” “guard rails,” and “ride alongs” to teach parents the best tech-control strategies:

Roadblocks and Guard Rails:

The main differences between these two strategies is how much access you’re giving your kids. With Road Blocks, you are completely stopping access to certain sites, channels, and apps; with Guard Rails, you are easing their current access to mainly  filter where they go and how much time is spent on certain areas of the web. You can block and filter content on multiple devices, like laptops, TVs, tablets, and phones. Products like Circle by Disney, OpenDNS, Qustodio, and Covenant Eyes are perfect for filtering sites.

Ride Alongs:

As your kids get older and gain freedom to certain sites, it’s important to walk them through each one. Not only will you gain knowledge on how it works, but you’ll also guide and help them understand why certain areas/sites are dangerous. This even includes video games. It’s helpful they learn the differences between reality and fantasy now so they can establish that distinction in their minds. 

 

While guiding their screen time is important, you also need to manage it. Because kids are starting to use more technology during school, they need to balance their screen time with other activities. The tactics you use and habits you instill in them now greatly determine how they use their devices in the future. Here are some tactics Jay recommends to manage their time:

Face-to-face vs. Screen Time: 

Numerous studies support that too much screen time negatively impacts child development. From learning development to social development, kids who are overly active on their devices have a difficult time maintaining eye contact and learning basic skills. Allowing them to gain technological knowledge while also working on age-based developmental skills is best for their growing minds. 

Parental Controls:

Blocking and filtering is important, but don’t be a computer Nazi. As they become of age or get used to certain devices, guide them in their usage to help them understand what is right and wrong. Giving them freedom to decide for themselves is more beneficial than completely blocking them.

Creation vs. Consumption:

99% of technology usage is for consumption, like streaming or playing games. Instead of always decreasing their tech time, give them outlets to create with their devices. Adobe Creative Suite is a great way for kids to learn things like editing photos, creating videos, and allowing their creativity to flow. You can also look for other tools to help develop creative writing skills, music composition, or just give them a tool for reading!

Walk the Walk:

This is the easiest and most common sense tactic: be a technology role model for your kids. If you’re telling them to limit screen time, then you do the same. Instead of using a Kindle or tablet to read, just buy books. It isn’t always clear that you’re reading a book when you’re on a phone, laptop, or tablet.

 

This topic is broad and there are numerous ways to go about technology usage, but we are thankful to have Jay Lowrance share his knowledge. He also recommended some of his favorite resources:

 

Categories
Family

Coworking as a Parent

Written by Charity Estes

Being a parent is my greatest joy and purpose, but adding work to the mix brings in new challenges. If you’re reading this, you probably understand what I mean. Maintaining a work-life balance is important, and you need to make your time a priority. One way I enjoy creating a balance is though keeping my work life completely separate from my home life, and Cornerstone Coworking makes this possible!

Here are just a few reasons why a coworking space plays a vital role in maintaining a work-life balance and a little sanity:

Professional Meetings

I’m a homebody – plain and simple. Anyone who knows me can vouch for that. However, having kids means my house is never as clean as I would like it to be. I couldn’t imagine having clients over while preparing for the meeting, entertaining kids, and keeping my house presentable. Not to mention keeping my house stocked with snacks other than chocolate milk and animal crackers. But this is where coworking comes in. Having the ability to separate two things I love: work and family, helps me step away from the distractions that one provides the other. This also helps me feel like a better mom in the sense that once I get home, I can step away from work and not feel distracted from my babies.

Adult Interaction

We have all experienced cabin fever in our lives – even us homebodies. After so many days of not leaving your house, wearing only pajamas/“workout clothes,” and having your couch as a “work desk,” it’s good for a person to put on normal clothes. Also, needing to network is a great excuse for getting out of the house to have quality, adult interactions.

Time to focus

As parents, we are hyper aware of our surroundings and know the location of many people at any given time. Trying to focus on emails, calls and other tasks while hearing Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Frozen on repeat in the background is extremely distracting. It feels like a mental vacation when I can step away and not worry about which kid is coloring on the walls or if the other one is eating dog treats.

 

Like I said before, my kids are one of my favorite parts of life. When I’m home with them, I never want to leave. But I also understand the importance of stepping away, focusing on something I am passionate about, and setting an example for my children to follow. People are important, they are what make our world exciting and fun. It’s important to experience them and the relationships they bring in all of their forms, which essentially, is what coworking and parenting is all about!