UK Lifestyle Blog 2018-05-20T20:20:33+00:00
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How to Make Your Small Patio Greener When You Live in the City

We all love outdoor living, no matter where we live. Those with limited space and resources often find it difficult to improve their living and enjoy the fresh air. If you currently only have a small balcony or patio, you might be thinking about making it greener without paying too much or having to work on the design too much. Below you will find a few tips on how to make your small patio greener and more enjoyable in every weather.

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Add Low Maintenance Features

With limited space, you might not want to go for decking or stones, but you still want to create a good looking green space. You can install some artificial grass and feel as if you are walking on your own lawn. If the rest of your tiny garden is paved, you will love this green feature without having to squeeze the lawnmower in the tight space. You can check out LazyLawn for quality, easy to install grass features.

Improve Your Lighting

One of the best things about having your own patio or balcony is that you can improve your lighting and spend the nights outdoors when it is simply too warm or stuffy in the house. There are plenty of great solutions; from solar patio lights to lanterns that will do two things at a time; keep the bugs away and create a warm light for those romantic nights when you are enjoying your favourite glass of wine or cocktail and having a chat with your friends or loved ones.

Windproof and Waterproof Features

If you are planning to extend your living room to the patio or balcony, it is important that you protect yourself from the elements. You can add a reed screen that will not only give you the privacy in the midst of the city, but also prevent the icy wind from entering your little domain. You should also invest in a strong roof, such as a honeycomb panel, so you get the light in during the day and prevent getting wet when it is pouring down.

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Plant Shrubs

When you have limited space, you have to get creative about greenery. Not all plants will survive the winter and the summer heat. The best way of adding green features is planting small shrubs in small window boxes and placing them around your small space. Alternatively, you can get them hung from the rails, and this will improve the air quality indoors and in your patio as well.

Pot Plants

If you simply don’t want to have permanent features and plants in your balcony or patio, you can get some sturdy pot plants or even artificial ones in your balcony. The windier your outdoor space is, the more likely you will need to opt for this solution. Still, you can get a peace of paradise and improve your mood and living area on a budget.

If you would like to make the most out of your small patio or balcony and enjoy greenery and outdoor living every day of the year, try the above tips.

August 19, 2018|Home Decor|

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness

Oh, happiness! This emotion and state of mind can sometimes feel so elusive. As we journey on through an increasingly stressful and turbulent world, it can often feel to so many of us that happiness is a little too far out of reach.

Whether you’re experiencing the devastating effects of anxiety or stress or stuck in an existential crisis, a little bit of happiness every day could lift your state of mind and offer you a different perspective on your current situation. And the good thing is you don’t have to look too far for happiness; it lies a lot closer than you think. Whenever things get on top of me, these are the some of the things I do or think about to boost my happiness quotient.

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Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy these days to walk through life feeling dissatisfied and not realising the real value of our experiences. At some point or another, all of us become a little bit ungrateful; not intentionally, it’s only sometimes we forget how much we do have. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a sure-fire way to experience a mood boost, and it’s something that anybody can do at any moment.

The next time you feel like life is getting on top of you, stop, take a deep breath and think of three things that you currently have in your life for which you feel grateful. It doesn’t have to be riches or material things, sometimes it’s only about gratitude for the running water that comes out of your taps or the smile you get from the shopkeeper down the road!

Smile So Much That Your Eyes Crease

Every day, we are bombarded with perfected faces — smiles that never quite reach the eyes and ‘Blue Steel’ stares continuously pour out of online and offline media. A real smile, though, something that has been called by happiness researchers (what an excellent job!) the Duchenne Smile, packs a mighty punch.

When we smile and laugh so much that our face crinkles up, all sorts of stress hormone-combating endorphins are released. We also get the benefit of a relaxed nervous and cardiovascular system because to laugh, we have to breath out. Try it right now. Make the biggest smile you can, and the next time something bothers you only let out a big laugh!

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Realise the importance of sleep

Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function. This includes cognition, concentration, productivity and performance. All of these are negatively affected by sleep deprivation. A study on medical interns provides a good example. Interns on a traditional schedule with extended work hours of more than 24 hours made 36% more serious medical errors than interns on a schedule that allowed more sleep.

Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders. It has been estimated that 90% of people with depression complain about sleep quality. Those with sleeping disorders like insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea also report significantly higher rates of depression than those without. Finding the right bed and having a good nights kip is essential for your happiness.

Find Your Flow

‘Flow’ is one of those new self-development buzzwords, but far from being a fascinating marketing ploy, it is something worthy of attention. When you’re carrying out an activity that you enjoy, especially if it’s one that challenges you and asks you to use and increase your skills, you become engaged. And to become engaged means that you enter this state of flow or become present. Some people enter the flow so much that they lose their sense of time and even themselves.

States of flow are in everything from hobbies to vocations, look at Maria Konnikova. This successful author, psychologist and journalist unexpectedly found her flow when researching the discipline of poker for her latest book: ‘The Biggest Bluff’. She fell in love with the game so much that she’s now competing as a professional and even acts as an ambassador for a prestigious global poker platform.

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Random acts of Kindness

In her book, ‘The How of Happiness’, notable professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, talks about the real power of practicing acts of kindness. Random, authentic acts of kindness carried out from the heart boost the mood of the giver, the recipient and can even improve the mood of people who witness the act.

Whenever you can do something to be kind to someone, it can be as simple as holding open a door for someone or offering up your seat on the bus or train to someone for the hell of it, do it. Plus, if you throw in a Duchenne Smile, you’ll get a double boost of happy-making endorphins!

Be Content with Good Enough

This one resonates with me a great deal, and I’m sure it will do the same with you, too. Instead of always striving for perfection, overachieving and overworking the simplest of activities (yes, you, competitive gym-goers I’m looking at you!), we do have to learn to be content with things that are ‘good enough’.

If you’re a striver like me, then, of course, you’ll keep striving, but instead of beating yourself up for failing to live up to your ridiculously high standards of perfection, learn to do the best that you can do in every moment. In time, you’ll realise that your version of good enough is perfect!

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The nature of life is that it will have its high and low points; there’s nothing that any of us can do about that. However, I hope these tips will help you the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. And remember, happiness is something that we all do deserve.

August 14, 2018|Health|
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Shortlisted Best UK Lifestyle Blog – Myprotein™ Fitness Awards 2017 🌺🥥

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Strawberry Squeeze is a UK lifestyle blog written by me, Sam Charles! Ranked as Up and Coming on Bloglovin’, Strawberry Squeeze publishes content from health and beauty to travel and adventure.

I aim to updated the blog at least once a week (usually much more often!) with guides, inspiration and reviews. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook to keep up to date with all my posts 💕

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Strawberry Squeeze is a UK lifestyle blog but what exactly does that mean? Mediakix defines a lifestyle blog as “digital content representation of its author’s everyday life and interests”. This is perfect for fickle little me, that changes what they’re doing every 5 minutes.

Whilst my career, my fiancée and my home is consistent, my hobbies and interest are all over the place. Life is too short and I want to experience EVERYTHING. One weekend I’ll be climbing a mountain, another I’ll be surfing, then the next week I’ll be watching learning how to create macrame wall hangings.

I always wonder how successful I could make the blog if it was in a niche with a focus but alas, it just wouldn’t be me.

Do you run a UK lifestyle or fitness blog, and want to contribute to my Strawberry Squeeze? If so, I want to hear from you!🍓hello@strawberrysqueeze.co.uk

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