5 Ways to Revamp Your Outdoor Space

As the weather warms, we can finally move our festivities and fun outdoors. But now that winter has released us from its freezing grasp, our decks, patios and other outdoor spaces might be in need of a refresh. There’s no need to spend money (or time) on an outdoor renovation: There are plenty of ways you can revamp your outdoor space without spending a chunk of change by using what you already have at home.

Give your furniture a makeover.

The easiest way to spruce up outdoor furniture is by adding pillows. You can fashion new covers out of an old tablecloth or shower curtain or add design elements to the ones you currently have, such as with this easy leaf print design. You can even make pillows out of those plastic bags you amass from the grocery store, no joke. And if you feel your furniture needs more than just new pillows, try refinishing them or paining them a new color. It’s still cheaper than buying a new set.

Let there be light!

Why let those Christmas lights go to waste in hibernation for the holidays? Instead, turn your holiday lights into a string of outdoor lanterns. For smaller lights, you can use ping-pong balls to make orbs of light, fold paper into origami lantern cubes or cut felt into floral fringe. For rounder, larger bulbs, this dyed cheesecloth DIY can transform your lights into bulbs of color that add decorative touch even when they’re turned off.

Recycle and reuse old pieces of wood.

Wooden pallets, sticks that have fallen off trees and other scraps of wood can be used to add interest and make over almost any aspect of your outdoor space. You can turn dirt into a wooden walkway; add an artisanal touch to a glass table; and glue sticks around a glass or bore tea-light-sized holes in a small log to make candle holders. You can also use wooden sticks, spoons or even tongue depressors to label the flowers, herbs, produce and trees in your garden (this is especially fun for kids and guests!).

Put unused containers to use.

Wooden boxes and baskets make especially great planters, but any old container will do. In fact, the more interesting, the better (old toys, teacups, etc.). Fill your chosen container up with dirt and plant as you would in a pot. You can also turn containers and other concave objects into bird baths and feeders.

Roll yourself an outdoor rug.

Do you have a tablecloth you bought and perhaps only used a few times? All you need to do is roll on a couple coats of some water-based polyurethane (about $10 a can) and you’ve got yourself an outdoor rug. It’s a great way to add a pop of color or deign to a patio floor.

Don’t feel in the mood for DIY projects? The simplest way to refresh your outdoor space is just to rearrange your furniture, plants and other décor in a new way.

No-Heat Lunches, Ready in Three Steps!

Coming up with quick lunch ideas para la familia can be a challenging task. On the one hand, sopas are too hearty for the summertime. On the other, basic salads and sandwiches can quickly become monotonous. Here’s a little lunchtime inspiration for no-heat recipes that take three steps and 15 minutes or less to prepare.

Summer Corn Ensalada (Serves 4)


4 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

1 1/2 cups fresh corn

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup cucumber, chopped

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, salt and hot sauce.

2. In a large bowl, mix the corn, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and basil. Drizzle with dressing and toss.

3. Refrigerate until chilled. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

Thai Veggie Salad + Diced Mango (Serves 4)



1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

3 cups snow peas, thinly sliced

3 carrots, thinly sliced

1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 cucumber, cut into strips

1 cup dried mango, thinly sliced

2/3 cup peanuts, chopped

3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped


3 garlic cloves, minced

1 piece fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

1/2 cup rice-wine vinegar

1/3 cup peanut butter


1. In a large bowl, mix all salad ingredients.

2. In a separate bowl, mix all dressing ingredients and stir until smooth.

3. Combine contents of both bowls. Toss and serve!

Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad (Serves 4)


1 pound jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped

1 tomato, diced

1 hass avocado, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 limes

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper


1. Combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper.

2. In a separate bowl, combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, jalapeño.

3. Mix together all ingredients, add cilantro and gently toss.

A Father’s Day Feast Fit for a King

Celebrate El Día de Los Padres with a delectable three-course menu sure to please all of the dads in your life.

Appetizer: Spring Asparagus Salad

Serving Size: 4


1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces

1 tablespoon sesame seeds


1. Whisk together rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and mustard. Drizzle in the peanut oil and sesame oil while whisking vigorously.

2. In a pot of boiling water, add the asparagus and cook three to five minutes until just tender, but still mostly firm. Remove and rinse under cold water.

3. Toss the dressing and the asparagus together. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.

Entrée: Grilled Skirt Steak with Salsa Verde

Serving Size: 4



1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds skirt steak


1 packed cup parsley leaves

1 packed cup basil leaves

1 packed cup mint leaves

2/3 cup capers, drained

2 large oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and fresh pepper

Smoked paprika


1. Combine parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic and olive oil. Spread the mixture all over the steak. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.

2. In a food processor, combine parsley, basil, mint, capers, anchovies, garlic, mustard and sugar and process to a paste. While the machine is running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

3. Scrape most of the marinade off the steak and season with salt and pepper. Grill for three minutes. Flip the steak over and grill for two minutes longer, until browned outside and medium-rare within. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest. Slice the steak and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Serve with salsa verde.

Dessert: Key Lime Pie Bars

Serving Size: 4



11/2 cups crushed graham crackers

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut


3 cups sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup key lime juice

1 tablespoon grated lime zest



1. Combine the crumbs, coconut, sugar and butter. Blend well. Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch pan.

2. Bake at 350 F for eight minutes; cool on wire rack.


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice and lime rind. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust.

3. Bake in preheated oven for five to eight minutes. Cool pie thoroughly before serving. Cut bars and garnish with whipped cream and coconut or lime pieces.

Verano Beauty Trends to Try at Home

Are you ready to give yourself summer’s hottest makeover? These must-have beauty trends are all over the runways, and the good news is that they’re easy to recreate at home. Here’s how:


Literally meaning “sweeping” in French, this hair highlighting technique is achieved by hand painting color onto each strand of hair to create depth. The highlights appear natural due to the scattered, painted strands, instead of the straight lines that result when foils are used. The best part? Touch-ups aren’t necessary since the roots are less obvious when they grow out. At home: Try Clairol Natural Instincts at least three shades lighter than your current hair color. Twist sections of your hair and apply the dye about one third down the twist. Follow the instructions on the box, untwist your hair and show off your new look.

Matte Nails

Forget glossy, shiny nails this summer -- it’s all about matte. There is no need to head to the nail salon to try this trend. Pick up a bottle at the drug store and paint on at home. Just make sure to apply a clear base coat to help the polish adhere to your nails. Paint two coats of the matte polish, let it dry and you are ready to go!

Dewy Complexion

Fresh skin is the key to looking younger and happier. A dewy complexion is easy to achieve at home when you use the correct products. Start by applying COVERGIRL & Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation. This combination serum and foundation helps to improve your skin tone while it instantly covers age spots and discolorations. Choose a creamy blush and brush it lightly over your cheekbones and forehead for a natural glow. Complete the look with a nude lip gloss.

Fútbol Makes Us Family: Make Game Time Party Time

There is sure to be a lot of exciting fútbol played this summer, so use this opportunity to spend quality time together creating long-lasting memories. Here are six ways to host a party la familia and friends will be talking about until the next celebration.

Set the Scene

Hang fútbol-themed streamers and different countries' colors around the room. Set the table like a field with a green tablecloth and square white bowls on each side as goals. You can even cut out coasters from AstroTurf that can be purchased from a local hardware store.

Game time -- Pin the Ball on the Goal

Set up a large corkboard on one side of the room with an image of a goal. Let each member of your family attempt to pin a ball into the goal while blindfolded. Whoever gets the ball closest to the center wins.

Dress Code

Give the party a theme where each member of the family has to dress in their favorite team’s color or uniform. Athletic sweat bands or socks are encouraged!

Snack Time

Create a nacho bar. This is fun because everyone gets to make their own plate starting with a base of tortilla chips, but you can keep it healthier by selecting fresh toppings like onions, black beans, tomatoes, jalapenos, salsa and low-fat cheese and sour cream. 

For a delicious nacho recipe that's packed with protein, check out Goya's black bean nachos.

Raise the Stakes

Make a rule that the person who selects the winning team gets a prize. They can give away their chores for the week or choose their favorite meal for dinner the next night.

Tasty Arts and Crafts

Cupcakes will make for a sweet ending to the party. Bake them ahead of time, and then lay them out with sprinkles and icing in various colors. Let everyone in the family decorate their own after their favorite teams and players.