Monthly Archives: August 2018

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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.

How to Make Your Small Patio Greener When You Live in the City | UK Lifestyle Blog

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.

How to Make Your Small Patio Greener When You Live in the City | UK Lifestyle Blog

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.

2018-08-19T21:05:49+00:00 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.

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness | UK Lifestyle Blog

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!

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness | UK Lifestyle Blog

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.

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness | UK Lifestyle Blog

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!

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness | UK Lifestyle Blog

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.

2018-08-14T11:26:03+00:00 August 14, 2018|Health|

5 Romantic Honeymoon Destinations to Consider

If you watch my Instagram stories, you’ll know that something insanely exciting happened last month; we finally booked our one-way ticket to Thailand for our honeymoon! We’re leaving straight from the bridal-suite at our manor house wedding in Cornwall, and jumping on a plane to Phuket. The idea is to explore until our hearts content, then make our way to Cambodia, Vietnam, and wherever else takes our fancy.

If you are also getting married soon, chances are you’re about to book your honeymoon, too. No matter if you want peace and quiet or great tours and attractions (trust me, we struggled to decide!), you will find something you like on the below list. Stay close to the beach, connect with ancient cultures, embark on a spiritual journey together, and make the most out of this romantic getaway.

5 Romantic Honeymoon Destinations to Consider | UK Lifestyle Blog

Costa Rica

Just a few hours by plane, Costa Rica’s natural beauty and great biodiversity will help you relax and enjoy “pura vida”. There is so much to see in the country; from animal sanctuaries to small fishing villages, stunning active volcanoes, waterfalls, and beaches. You can book a five star hotel near the beach and one of Costa Rica’s national parks to get closer to nature and each other.

Maldives

You might think of the Maldives as a location for the millionaires, but actually there are plenty of budget friendly packages available for honeymooners. You can book a bungalow on the beach and enjoy the independence of waking up when you want and going to bed whatever time you feel like. To make your vacation even more memorable, you can even go on a week cruise around the islands on a catamaran.

Thailand

From stunning beaches to great nightlife and low cost accommodation, you can find everything in Thailand. Try the food at the market, shop around for souvenirs and decoration for your new home and take your travel to the next level. Bangkok has fantastic markets you can walk around all day, and there are several islands to discover on a boat tour.

Crete

The Greek island is famous for the locals’ hospitality and the great atmosphere. The weather is great all year round, and you can find ancient temples, great monuments, and fantastic wine to taste in Crete. There are regular flights in the summer, and you can get active, cycling, horse riding, or hiking on the beach. Before you start booking your honeymoon, look for beach resorts with great bars and all inclusive packages, as eating out can be costly.

Malta

To have a water themed honeymoon with loads of things to do and see, Malta is your destination. From old churches and forts to shipwrecks just off the Mediterranean Coast, local markets, and small villages and festivals, there are plenty of reasons why you should go to Malta. There are also several famous diving schools in Malta offering basic and advanced training. Whether you would like to sail around the island of Comino, visit Sicily by boat, or try scuba diving, you will find this the ideal honeymoon destination.

Choosing the right honeymoon destination is almost as important as getting your wedding venue right. Choose a place where you can be free from the hustle and bustle of the big city, try new things, connect with nature, and each other while exploring diverse cultures.

2018-08-10T12:59:37+00:00 August 10, 2018|Travel|
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