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
Business

Balancing Life & Working Remote

Articles on work-life balance may seem like white noise to most at this point, but it’s important not to lose focus! As I was sitting at home yesterday, I noticed a couple of trends: 1) I was putting fewer tasks on my to-do list and 2) it was taking longer to accomplish each one. My time in the office was easily becoming the most productive time of my week. If you’re finding this to be your case and habits while at home, then check out the article below. It reiterates many of the tips we’ve heard before with a refreshing perspective.

“3 Tips on Resiliency to Help You Avoid Remote-Work Burnout” | Alain Hunkins, May 21, 2020

 

 

Categories
Family

Zoom Trivia Nights

As we are still encouraging and practicing social distance, it’s important we find new ways to stay connected, socialized, and entertained. Which means, all your trivia and game nights do not have to come to an end!

Here’s a complete guide to hosting a fun and engaging Zoom Trivia Night with friends, family, or coworkers:

Heads Up! – Have all participants download Heads Up on either their Apple or Android Devices. Allow players to choose from the various decks, as each deck is based on a specific topic.The game will display a word or phrase on your phone that you place on your forehead for everyone to see.  Don’t forget to select the “Hide Self View” option in Zoom so that you aren’t seeing the answers on your phone.The other players must try and convey to you what is on the phone, without saying the actual word or phrase. Tilt your phone down for correct answers, and tilt up to pass!

Kahoot! – Create a free personal account on Kahoot! and choose from a large selection of Trivia topics that are fun and educational. This game system is perfect for school age kids, as its bright colors and great topics encourage learning and engagement. You also have the option of creating your own questions!

Trivia Bingo – Head over to Sporcle where you can get a classic game of BINGO going, as you test your knowledge on Pop Culture. You can start a personal room and share your unique link with friends to play together over Zoom.

DIY Trivia  –  Completely build your Trivia Game your way! Trivia Maker allows you to choose your grid, color, and questions. You’ll be running your own game show in no time for the enjoyment of all your attendees.

Jeopardy – Jeopardy Lab has Jeopardy games for all ages and difficulty levels. You also have the option of creating your own board! Divide into 2 teams, allowing each person a shot at answering the Jeopardy questions. Make sure you utilize the breakout room option on Zoom to chat within your team if you need help with the answer to a question. For the full game show experience, set your virtual stage on Zoom Backgrounds to recreate the set of Jeopardy.

Family Feud – This is a family favorite trivia game show! Designate your host and choose your teams. To make a clear distinction as to who’s on which team, have everyone on the teams wear the same color, just like they do on the show! Simply download the game on your device, and share your screen on Zoom.

How to set your game up on Zoom

Now that you’ve selected your game, follow this simple guide to start a trivia game in a Zoom meeting:

Step 1: After you’ve chosen your trivia game of choice, make sure you understand it for yourself and that those you’re playing with will enjoy the one you’ve selected!

Step 2: Create a meeting on Zoom, and send the link to participants, along with the game you’ll be playing and its instructions. If you want to jazz up your virtual event, head over to evite to create your invitation. You can select the option to make this a virtual event, and include your zoom link there!

Remember, if your game lasts for more than 40 minutes, you will need to start a new meeting. Follow this link to upgrade your zoom account to continue the same meeting uninterrupted. Good planning will help!

Step 3:  Plan your game well so your fun will start without delay! Determine who your participants are, and who will host the game (if required), etc. Be sure that everyone has the items needed in order to play the game before getting started! Providing a list with all of the needed items will be very helpful for all the participants. Once everyone has joined your meeting and is ready, explain the game to everyone and begin!

Step 4: If the game requires screen sharing, Click the ‘Share screen’ option at the bottom of your Zoom meeting’s screen. You’ll then see a pop-up asking you which window you would like to share. Select the browser on which the game is currently running. Or, if you need a drawing board for keeping scores, drawing, or writing a trivia question, you can choose the whiteboard option after clicking the ‘Share Screen’ button.

Step 5: Have a blast! By selecting the record button on your dashboard in the beginning of the game, you can look back on the success of your trivia night. It’s a great way to capture all of the laughs and memories that you will make throughout the night!

 

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

Supporting Small Businesses in the Midst of Covid-19

Written by Skyy DeAngelo

As we have all been affected by COVID -19, it is important to maintain a sense of community through supporting and uplifting our local community of small businesses. 

Within the first couple weeks of the pandemic, people went into a position of fear and fending for themselves. But as more information was given on the situation, we have been able to shift from fear to compassion. We have been reminded of how important kindness and community are to easing anxiety during this crisis. 

If we are all in this together, then we are to support each other and the businesses we pour ourselves into. A business isn’t just an entity, it is made up of families, dreams, and goals with the hope of making an aspect of another person’s life easier and full of joy. 

In this post, we are featuring some of Cornerstone’s members, what they offer, and how we can show our support as a workplace community:

 

OBRIA MEDICAL CLINICS

Obria is known for their compassionate and comprehensive healthcare. As we know, many families have suffered through this pandemic financially. As a result, Obria is currently providing pregnancy testing and ultrasounds at no charge, and their well-woman care visits are very low cost.

Obria serves many new mothers and currently has an Amazon baby registry for them. To support this organization, you can follow this link to their baby registry to add items in the Baby Boutique for expecting mothers. Their greatest need is diapers size 5 & 6 and baby boy clothing.

They are also starting a virtual baby bottle campaign to raise money to support current costs of remaining open. Individuals and organizations will have the opportunity to create their own fundraising page and fill their virtual baby bottle with money. 

To maintain the safety of their operation, disinfecting their surfaces is of utmost importance. If you are a business/organization/individual who has a resource to get hand sanitizer or Lysol spray, Obria Medical Clinic would greatly appreciate it!

Website: www.obria.org/locations/lawrenceville-ga/

Phone: call/text 770-338-1622 to set up your next appointment 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/obriamedicalclinicgwinnett/

 

UPPER90

The team at UPPER90 continues their efforts to empower children, on and off the field by being a support to them and their families during this health crisis.

In the midst of COVID-19, Jorge and his team at UPPER90 are currently providing weekly care packages that include food, essential items, and notes of encouragement to uplift those they are serving. 

You can show your support of UPPER90’s mission to help the community they love, by partnering or contributing to the families in their program. Follow the link for additional information and directions as to how you can help. https://www.upper90goal.org/covid-19help.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UPPER90GOL/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/upper90gol/tagged/

 

Here are a few more ways you can support Obria, UPPER90, and other members of the Cornerstone Community:

  1. Show some love by writing reviews if you have used their services. Using platforms such as Facebook, Google and Yelp! will help their business immensely. 
  2. Amplify their business using the most valuable avenue of advertising: word of mouth! Even if you do not have a need for their services, you may know someone who does. Share their services and information on your social media, that way people can find them and any promotions or special offers they may have.
  3. A simple thank you goes a long way. Take a moment to send a thank you note or an email acknowledging and thanking the businesses and organizations in your community for their diligent work. 

 

What are some practical ways your business can be supported during COVID-19?

 

Categories
Event

Quarantine Cocktails + Mocktails

Okay, it’s about time quarantine moves on out of the way; but since that is not happening, it’s time to make it fun! A few weeks ago, we had a little virtual Happy Hour to see how you were all doing! We encouraged you to BYOB (bring your own beverage), but we decided that’s not good enough. So here is a list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for you to make at home! Feel free to bring these to our Zoom calls or just enjoy them alone, in the dark, with a good Netflix movie–we’re here for you, not to judge you.

Iced Coffee:

  • This version includes Bailey’s, so it’s probably not the smartest way to start your day. Nonetheless, it’s a sweet treat when you need a little caffeine boost!
  • – There are a few ways to make coffee with this recipe so you can make it your own!

Peach Bellini:

  • – Nothing says getting ready for summer in Georgia like peaches. Enjoy a Peach Bellini while you work those long days from home!
  • – If you’re wanting the taste of this summer drink but still have a Zoom call to hop on, then try this version!

Raspberry Lemonade:

  • – You cannot get ready to kick summer off without a nice glass of lemonade. This Raspberry Vodka Lemonade is perfect to pair with a weekend outside or an afternoon snack.
  • – Some days you really want to share homemade lemonade with your family, so here’s the perfect recipe. And if you haven’t made this homemade before, we highly recommend it. 

 

Categories
COVID-19

Coming Together at a Distance

It is no secret that Covid-19 is affecting everyone, in many different ways. Everything is slower if it hasn’t already come to a screeching halt. We are all a little stressed, worried, and anxious about what the next few weeks will hold–not to mention how this will play a part in our economy and lives for the years to come. We are all living through something right now that no one alive has ever witnessed before.

For the most part, this pandemic is out of our control. However there are a few things that are in our control that could help in doing our part.

  • – Help others, without contact. This one is as helpful for you as it is for someone else. When you get lost in thought and start to let the fear and uncertainty sink in…distract yourself. Instead of asking yourself a million questions that you don’t have the answer to, ask yourself, “how can I help someone else today?” We have seen this done in so many ways but for 
    • > Listen to the recommended protocols – the best way we can do our part is to stop the chain. We could prevent the spread to our family friends, and anyone else we come in contact with by simply not coming in contact. If everyone would take the initiative to practice social distancing and maintaining a sanitized environment, everything would slow down or come to the end much quicker.
    • > Helping others could be something as simple as dropping off a gallon of milk or pack of toilet paper on the front porch. Next time you place a grocery order, reach out to a neighbor or something that can’t leave the house and see if you can pick up an item or two for them.
    • >Helping others right now also goes farther than tangible goods. Social distancing has taken a toll on people emotionally. Simply reaching out to someone who has been isolated could change their whole day. Give them a call, FaceTime them so they can see your face and you can see theirs. Make plans for something you can do together when this is all over.
    • > My daughter’s preschool is “adopting the elderly.” I love this idea. They have a list of senior citizens in the community that will not have face to face interactions with others. So to do something small to brighten their day, and keep the little ones entertained for a short period of time, they have decided to have the students color pictures, write letters and do something simple to bring a smile to their face.

 

During these times, helping others looks different than it ever has. But there is nothing more encouraging than seeing a world in panic and finding the few that calm the storm with kindness. Always look to see the good, and work hard to be the good. How we respond, how we come together during a crisis, will define our outcome.

 

Categories
COVID-19

Helpful Widgets to Keep You Focused at Home

So the madness has officially set in. Personally, this means everyone rushes to the store to get the essentials: toilet paper, bread, milk, coffee, wine, and (if you are anything like me) ice cream. However, as an employee that is preparing work from home, your essentials may look a little different. Of course you need the same basics to stay alive and sane in your house but what tools do you need to remain successful working from home?

Well, after a little time at home, I have found a few resources to help save us, keep us sane, and manage our time wisely. When you are at work, you probably make a point to take a lunch break and step outside of the office for a moment to refresh yourself. Maybe you enjoy walks after you accomplish a daunting task on your list. But at home you may find it harder to keep track of time, mark off your to-do list, and make sure your meetings are on schedule and efficient, Hopefully theses little tools will help you manage your time wisely while also taking care of yourself:

  • Break Timer is a Chrome extension that reminds you to step away from your computer to give your eyes and brain a break. 
  • Toggl is another Chrome extension to help keep track of your time and what you are allocating it towards. This will help with time management and help you track where your time is going!
  • – Video calls are a great way to communicate with teammates and/or clients during this time. It keeps your meetings personal, productive, and efficient. A video platform we recommend is Google Meet. This platform is user friendly and easily compatible with all other google apps we love. 
  • – If you are anything like me, there is nothing more satisfying than making a task list and checking each item off. But sometimes, your physical checklist can’t follow you everywhere. Here are some virtual checklist and task management recommendations:
    • > Tasks is a google chrome add on that you can have pulled up next to your email and google calendar. This is also available as a mobile app to access anywhere.
    • > Trello is a great platform for managing tasks, adding checklists within the task, setting reminders, and collaborating with a team. 

 

Everything works differently for each person, but these are some great resources and surely one of them will prove useful to your everyday routine

 

Categories
COVID-19

The Good in Gwinnett

In times of unforeseen events, communities–like the one in Gwinnett–show support and care in ways we forget is possible. Right now students are navigating online school, local businesses are rolling with the punches, and parents are taking on a new role as teacher. These shifts in our everyday lives mean a lot of our normal securities are uncertain. With Gwinnett having one of the highest populations of food insecurity, many students are having to turn elsewhere for a normal meal promised at school. Incomes are taking a hit as hours are cut or jobs are completely lost. Luckily, our community is filled with people who are prepared to give back. Here is a list of places to go to if you are interested in helping out or are in need of resources.

Gwinnett County Public Schools

68 schools in the county are offering meals to students 18 and younger from 11am to 1pm. School buses are also delivering meals to certain areas, like: “Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Discovery, Meadowcreek, Norcross, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett– and for the following schools– Alcova ES, Arcado ES, Berkeley Lake ES, Chesney ES, Duluth MS, Harris ES, Jackson ES, Knight ES, Lovin ES, McKendree ES, Northbrook MS, and Sycamore ES. The buses will be making stops at their regular bus stops between 11 a.m. and noon” (WSBTV). Check out this great article from WSBTV that breaks down resources for each county!

Local Cooperatives

In an effort to continue helping those in need while maintaining the safety of our community, local cooperatives are going the extra mile. North Gwinnett, Lawrenceville, and Southeast Gwinnett co-ops have released their response to COVID-19 while also listing their most needed supplies. Food items–like tuna, boxed meals, and soups are among the most needed. Personal items–like laundry detergent, soap, toilet paper, and toothpaste are also needed.