unwritten golf rules

unwritten golf rules

Bump day icon Did you know that the USGA has 34 official rules of golf, plus four appendices? As if that wasn’t enough, each rule has various sections, subsections, and explanatory decisions to go with it! Just flipping through the rule book can be an overwhelming experience. But it doesn’t stop there. In addition to these written rules, there are a ton of unwritten ones. Yup, everything you need to know about golf can’t be found in a book. 

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our fashion go-to pieces

our fashion go-to pieces

Creative Closet ButtonOn Friday we gave you a sneak peek at today’s post, and here it is in all it’s glory! Today we’re linking up with both Maegen at The Modern Tulip and Jana at Life Could Be a Dream for their Creative Closet series. The inspiration? Our fashion go-to pieces. We all have that one item in our closet that we rely on for all types of occasions, and today we’re sharing ours.

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sneak peek: the creative closet | our go-to pieces

sneak peek: the creative closet | our go-to pieces

Fashion FridaysOur friends, Maegen at The Modern Tulip and Jana at Life Could be a Dream, have come up with a great new series, and we’re so excited to participate! The Creative Closet is a weekly link-up designed to ignite your fashion creativity. Every Tuesday, readers are encouraged to link-up a fashion post based on a pre-determined theme. We shared our radiant orchid post a few weeks ago and this coming Tuesday, we’ll be sharing our favorite go-to pieces.

Since it’s Fashion Friday, we’re offering up a sneak peak of our post. Come back on Tuesday to check out the entire post!

Fashion Friday

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tips for the first time tennis player

tips for the first time tennis player

bump dayIt’s Wednesday! Around here, we call it “bump day.” Each and every Wednesday we’ll post a tip, trick, gadget, or something fun and random to get you through the rest of the week. 

By now it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when I say how much I love tennis. I’ve recommended it as a great workout, I shared my experience in my first tournament, and I even suggested it as a must-try outdoor activity. Are you getting the hint that I think you should try it? Lol!

I had never picked up a racquet until two years ago, and now I can’t put it down! Before that, I watched tennis on TV, and I understood the basic rules of the game, but it’s different when you’re actually on the court. 

I was going to make today’s post about tennis drills that you can try, but then it dawned on me: what if some of you don’t even know where to start, and just want to try a basic match with your friend? So I decided to save the drills for another day. Today, I’m going to set you up with all of the information you need to make your first experience on the tennis court a fun one!

tennis tips

book a court

First things first, make you sure you book a court time. Many parks offer free tennis courts so you may want to wander over and call dibs if one is available. If that’s not an option for you, call your local tennis/racquet club and book a court in advance. And don’t forget to bring your own tennis balls! Most clubs will not provide them for you.

dress appropriately

If you’re going to play at a club, ask what clothing requirements they have. There are still some clubs out there that require you to wear all white (yawn). Also, grab a pair of decent shoes because you will be running and you don’t want to trip or hurt yourself. Please, please, please don’t play in flip-flops. I’ve seen this done and it’s not pretty!

Now that you’ve found a court, and you’re dressed appropriately, you need to know the basic rules of play.

mind the lines

There are a few sets of lines that you need to become familiar with. Here is a basic layout of the court:

sidelines: There are two sets of lines marking the outside edges of the court. The inside lines are called singles sidelines, and are used when two people are playing against each other (called “singles play”). The outside lines are called the doubles sidelines, and are used when a total of four people are playing (two per team, called “doubles play”). Any ball that lands outside of the appropriate line, is called out.

service line and service boxes: When a player serves, the ball must land on the other side of the net, in the opposite service box. The service boxes are outlined by the service line, the centre line, the net, and the sidelines.

baseline: This is where you will stand to serve, receive serves, and generally while playing, although you can run up towards the net at anytime during play. If a ball lands past this line, it is called out. 

scoring

Tennis has a unique scoring system. Basically a player wins by 4 points, but must win by 2. Instead of counting up the points from 1 to 4, points are counted as follows: love, 15, 30, 40, win. If players are tied, it’s referred to as “15 all”, or “30 all”. If players are tied at 40 it’s called “deuce”. If the score is at deuce, the next player to win a point is said to have the “advantage,” and must win the next point to win the game. If a player has the advantage, but loses the next point, it goes back to deuce. The next person to score a point is said to have the advantage, and so on, until someones wins by 2.

tennis scoring

A series of games make up a set, and a series of sets make up a match. If you’ve ever wondered where the term “game, set, match” comes from, now you know! In order to avoid sounding like a complete rookie, always refer to your play as a tennis match vs. a tennis game.

other basic rules

  • If a ball lands outside of the lines, it is considered to be out. However, if any part of the ball touches the line, it’s considered to be in. When in doubt, be a good sport and call it in.
  • Hitting the ball before it bounces is called a “volley”. Volleys are usually easiest to hit when you’re closer to the net, such as near the service line or even slightly closer.
  • You cannot touch the net. Doing so forfeits the point to the other player.
  • If it’s your turn to serve, and the ball does not land in the correct service box, it’s called a fault. If you fault two times in a row, your opponent gets a point. If the ball lands in the correct service box, but it touches any part of the net on the way over, it’s called  a “let” and you’re able to serve again without penalty. I haven’t really explained serves here because they’re definitely the hardest part of the game, and not really necessary when you’re just beginning.  Simply hit the ball over the net to get the game started.

That’s all you really need to know for your first tennis match! However, if you would like to learn more of the basics, including court conduct, additional scoring details, and how to serve properly, check out this great guide for beginners from the United States Tennis Association.

Tennis anyone?

Will you be trying tennis this summer?

ree

 

 

 


scrapbook: stand up paddle boarding

scrapbook: stand up paddle boarding

If you’ve never tried stand up paddle boarding (SUP), I highly recommend it. After living in Barbados for a few years, last week Ree and I finally made it out with two of our girlfriends to give SUP a go. It’s an absolute must-try summer activity. We had so much fun and are incredibly grateful to Paddle Barbados for the amazing day! No matter what beach you visit this summer, you must get out there and SUP.

Stand up paddle boarding

If you’re planning to use a company to arrange SUP, you’ll get a brief introduction and instruction before you head out on the water. However, if you’re lucky enough to have your own board and just want to give it a try, here’s a great guide for beginners.

Our fabulous instructor!

Our fabulous instructor!

Although the weather started off a bit iffy (we had to wait twenty minutes for the down pour to pass over), it turned out to be a beautiful day. It was a little overcast at times, but that was perfect because it meant cooler temperatures and no sun burn! 

stand up paddle boarding

Here we are!stand up paddle boarding

stand up paddle boarding

stand up paddle boarding

And don’t let it fool you, SUP can be quite the workout! Here we are racing=)

stand up paddle boarding

After that race and to celebrate one of our girlfriend’s birthdays, we all shared a bottle of Champagne! A fabulous way to end the day!

stand up paddle boarding

So grab your friends and make a day of it. You won’t be disappointed!

Have you tried stand up paddle boarding before? What have you tried for the first time this summer?

bre

 


barbados rum punch

barbados rum punch

It’s Wednesday! Around here, we call it “bump day.” Each and every Wednesday we’ll post a tip, trick, gadget, or something fun and random to get you through the rest of the week. 

How’s your summer going? Is it alright? I hope your answer is a resounding “YES!”  Since you’ve been experiencing the weather that Bre and I are lucky enough to enjoy year-round, I thought it would be fun to share with you a drink that we also enjoy year-round.

Our tiny island doesn’t produce much, thanks to a soil that’s made of limestone and coral. But one thing we do grow a lot of is sugar cane. It’s a huge part of the Bajan culture and steeped in tradition. Every year there’s even a celebration, called Crop Over, which celebrates the traditional end of harvesting season. Any reason for a party!

Crop Over celebration in Barbados

Crop Over celebrations in Barbados

Sugar cane can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. I’ve had it raw, where you chew on the cane to release the sweet cane juice. In fact, there are guys that actually sell the raw cane on the side of the roads during harvesting season! Or, you can find fresh cane sugar and molasses in the local stores. But here on the island, the most popular way to enjoy it is rum.

Thanks to the abundance of sugar cane, rum is everywhere. It’s super cheap (even the good stuff!) and it flows freely. There are even songs about it! One of the earliest songs about rum is the little diddy about making rum punch. It goes something like this:

Recipe

Isn’t that a handy way of remembering a cocktail recipe? I whip up this libation anytime I have out of town guests, and they always love it. If you’re ever in Barbados, the first thing you need to try is a rum punch. And if you can’t make it to our island anytime soon, here’s the recipe so you can enjoy our national drink in your own backyard.

Barbados rum punch

barbados rum punch
Serves 1
A classic rum punch recipe from the island of Barbados
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice
  2. 2 ounces of simple syrup
  3. 3 ounces of rum
  4. 4 ounces of water or passionfruit juice
  5. 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  6. garnish with freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Fill a glass with ice.
  2. Add the lime juice, simple syrup, rum, and water or passionfruit juice to the glass.
  3. Add a few dashes of Angostura Bitters and stir.
  4. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
  5. Relax and enjoy a taste of the Caribbean!
Notes
  1. White or dark rum will work with this recipe. For a truly Bajan experience, use a rum from Barbados such as Mount Gay.
  2. You can find Angostura Bitters at any liquor store or grocery store.
bump & run http://bumpandrunchat.com/

The great thing about this recipe is that it easily doubles or quadruples so you can make up a pitcher to enjoy with your guests. 

Cheers!

Rum Punch_3

Have you ever been to Barbados?

What’s your favorite Caribbean cocktail?

ree

 


five outdoor activities you should try this summer

five outdoor activities you should try this summer

bump dayIt’s Wednesday! Around here, we call it “bump day.” Each and every Wednesday we’ll post a tip, trick, gadget, or something fun and random to get you through the rest of the week.  

Can you believe it’s already July? Where is the time going? Winter seems to last forever and summer seems to fly by. Crazy! While it may seem like it’s whizzing by, there are still two months of summer left, which is plenty of time to get out there and enjoy the season. And what better way to remember this summer than by trying out something new? I challenge you to make this a summer you’ll never forget by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone!

Living in the Caribbean is like having summer 365 days of the year, but there are certain activities that I miss from my days of living in North America. Camping immediately comes to mind, as does riding my bike on trails, and canoeing on a still-water lake. None of these are really viable in Barbados, but living on an island and being surrounded by gorgeous turqoise water does offer up some new options that I would never have tried in the past.

So how do you choose what to try? With so many amazing options out there, it can be a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry, I’m here to help! I’ve put together a little list of outdoor activities that you should try before the sun sets on the summer of 2014. All you have to do is pick one (or two, or three,) and have fun!

SUP (stand up paddle boarding)

A cross between surfing and kayaking, this sport has become extremely popular over the past few years. It offers up a great workout to your upper body and abs, and you don’t need to buy any new equipment! Most introductory classes will provide the board and paddle as part of the lesson. Just put on your bathing suit, slather on that sunscreen, and get paddling! For some added motivation, check out this list of the world’s best SUP spots

Bre and I actually have this at the top of our to-do list this summer, so stay tuned and you’ll likely see a recap of our own adventures in SUP!

tip: If you’re really adventurous, combine SUP with yoga. Many of the places that offer SUP, will provide this option as well. And don’t worry, they usually anchor the board so you don’t float away while your focusing on your pose. I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone that’s new to yoga. However, if you’re already a yogi, this is a fantastic way to combine your love of yoga with the serenity of the water.

kayaking

I went kayaking in Alaska and it was amazing!

I went kayaking in Alaska and it was amazing!

If paddling on a board isn’t your thing, why not try it in a kayak? You still get the benefits of a great upper body workout in a slightly more stable vessel. I’ve kayaked a few times and it’s pretty easy to get the hang of. You can choose to go it alone, but why not grab a friend and get a boat for two? My husband and I did this while visiting Alaska one summer and it was the highlight of our trip! It’s adventurous, peaceful, and it provides you with an opportunity to spot wildlife that you would never see while standing on shore.

tip: Like stand-up paddle boarding, you don’t need to buy any new equipment. Check your local listings for kayak/canoe outfitters that offer up day rentals. Most will even include life jackets as part of the rental price (a MUST for any boater,) and day trip packages with, or without, a guide.

snorkeling 

I hate to admit it, but I avoided snorkeling for years. Every time we went on a vacation where it was offered, I secretly wished I had the courage to try it out. It was very intimidating to me. I’m not a strong swimmer, and the idea of breathing through a tube didn’t seem like that much fun. Once I moved to the Caribbean, it seemed silly to let my fear of the unknown keep me from experiencing the beauty that the Caribbean Sea has to offer. So I bought a snorkel set and tried it out. And it was awesome!

It can take a bit of getting used to, so you may want try it in a pool first until you’re comfortable with it. The cool thing about snorkeling is that you don’t need a boat. Most of the times I’ve gone into the water from shore. If you don’t live in an area where you can snorkel, go ahead and add this activity to your overall bucket list. The next time you’re on a holiday where it’s available, try it out, and check it off your list! In fact, plan your next holiday around it! Go here to check out the world’s best places to snorkel.

tip: If you have a small head/face, look for a snorkel set designed for women. The face masks are more narrow and will fit better. You don’t want any gaps between the mask and your face. Also, ensure your hair is slicked back off your face before putting your mask on. This will also ensure a tighter seal.

tennis

I'm lucky enough to play here every week!

I’m lucky enough to play here every week!

It’s no secret that I love tennis. It has amazing health benefits and it’s so much fun! While you can play it all year round by hitting up an indoor facility, it’s way nicer to play outside. Don’t worry if you’ve never played before, or if you think you’re not coordinated enough. I am seriously one of the least coordinated people I know, and even I can manage to hit the ball. Borrow a racquet, buy a few tennis balls, and go hit the court!

tip: If you have a toddler or small child, bring them along and ask them to pick up the balls around the court when you’re taking a break or done playing. It’s amazing how much the little ones love being the ball boy/girl. 

beach volleyball

an action shot of my husband enjoying his favorite sport!

An action shot of my husband enjoying his favorite sport!

A summer time classic! My husband loves to play volleyball, and he never misses a chance to combine his favorite sport with a day at the beach. And with so many beaches providing nets these days, it’s never been easier to grab a group of friends and make a day of it. Fill up those coolers, grab a volleyball, and go! No special shoes or clothing required. Volleyballs are quite inexpensive and available everywhere. I’ve even seen them for sale at convenience stores. As an added bonus, running in the sand provides a great workout for your legs. Friends+sun+beach+workout = awesome!

tip: Beach volleyball is typically played with 2 players per team, but you can easily play with 6 per team, like indoor volleyball, if you have a larger group.

If I haven’t yet convinced you to try one of these activities, check out Designer Whey’s Ambassador Search Contest. Part of the prize includes a volleyball session with Kerri Walsh Jennings (the queen of beach volleyball!) and other adventures with their current ambassadors. When you’re on their page be sure to click on the ambassadors section. I guarantee they’ll inspire you to try one, if not all, of the activities listed above!

Get out there and enjoy summer folks! Before you know it, the leaves will be falling and you’ll be ordering a pumpkin spiced latte! 

Would you try one of these activities?

Do you have any other summer sports to suggest? We’d love to hear about your list!

ree