UK Lifestyle Blog 2018-12-03T02:41:24+00:00
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How to: Create a Relaxing Bathroom for Self-Care Weekends

Is there anything more relaxing and indulgent than a hot bubble bath at the end of a hectic day? If you’re in the midst of renovating your house, or your bathroom is crying out for some TLC, revamping this space could play an instrumental role in promoting self-care and creating a serene, tranquil home. If you dream of a luxurious bathroom to kick back and chill out, here are some tips to take on board.

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Give your bathroom some TLC

Do you long to create your own version of a boutique hotel bathroom at home, or are you looking to upgrade your current suite to add a touch of decadence? If so, you don’t have to spend a fortune or overhaul the entire room to achieve spectacular results. Adding carefully-selected bathroom luxuries could make all the difference.

If your room is lacking a focal point, or you’re keen to go all-out and make a statement, a beautiful freestanding bath can create a centrepiece for a room with serious style. Opt for a simple, chic modern tub or channel a romantic, vintage vibe with a roll top bath with clawed feet. Once you’ve chosen a bath, you can run with the hotel theme and add double sinks and an oversized, rain shower head.

Create a tranquil vibe

Many of us are used to living our lives at a hundred miles per hour, and we crave a moment of downtime to pause, reflect, and relax. Your bathroom should be a tranquil space that allows you to unwind and enjoy a well-earned time out. If you’re stressed out, you’re tired, or you feel like you’ve been swimming against the tide or spinning plates all week, retreating to the bathroom for a hot shower or a leisurely soak in the bath could be just the tonic.

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To create a peaceful, calming vibe, opt for low-level lighting, choose neutral tones for the walls and add candles and plants. Use wall-mounted shelves or cupboards with drawers to prevent clutter, and add soothing aromas using diffusers or scented candles. You could also place a freestanding speaker inside your bathroom and create a bespoke bath time playlist.

Finishing touches

Once you’ve chosen colours for the walls, and you’ve selected a bath, a shower unit and sinks, it’s time to elevate the design of your bathroom to the next level with accessories and finishing touches. You can add colour or use details and accents to carry a theme.

If you’re a fan of the understated, Scandinavian vibe, for example, stick to a palette of white, grey, and black, and add plant pots, a stylish, printed bath mat and matching granite toothbrush and toilet brush holders. If you’re on a mission to create a romantic Parisian bathroom, complement a roll top bath with a vintage mirror, vases of fresh flowers, and an ornate, decorative vanity unit.

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If your bathroom isn’t quite cutting the mustard, and you’re looking to design a luxurious space that promotes self-care and relaxation, you don’t have to blow the budget or have years of experience in interior design to achieve a stunning transformation. Create a focal point, think about the styles and themes you like, and use finishing touches and finer details to produce a personalised space that is both stylish and serene.

April 3, 2019|Home Decor|

The Benefits to Shopping Organic this Easter 🌼🐰

Easter is on the horizon, and for many of us, this means getting together with friends and family to celebrate traditional spring dishes and delicacies. If you’re entertaining this Easter, or you’re looking to take an offering to a family dinner, have you thought about choosing organic produce?

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What exactly does organic mean?

When you’re doing your food shop, you’ll probably come across labels that are marked with the word organic. Organic food is more popular than ever before, but what exactly does organic mean, and how is it different from other products? Organic farming is a very straightforward concept, which is designed to preserve the purity of vegetables, fruit, and meat and minimise exposure to chemicals.

If you buy organic meat, for example, organic lamb from Graig Farm, you can be sure that you’re purchasing a piece of meat that has been traced and tracked from the farm to the plate. Organic farming focuses on high standards of animal welfare and processes that optimise taste and enjoyment and reduce contact with chemicals.

The benefits of buying organic food this Easter

Easter is a wonderful time of year to delve into the depths of organic food and buy produce that is packed with flavour to celebrate spring and enjoy quality time with loved ones. Spring is traditionally associated with fresh vegetables and succulent meats that are perfectly suited to a sumptuous roast dinner.

Buying organic offers multiple benefits. When you add items to your basket in a supermarket, you might not be entirely sure where that product has been, but with organic fayre, you have access to information about the origins of the produce, and you can enjoy peace of mind that the animal has been well looked after.

Organic produce tends to be tastier and healthier, and you don’t have to worry about the potential effects of being exposed to chemicals like pesticides. Organic foods are also fresher, as they don’t contain preservatives that are added to prolong shelf-life.

Tips for your Easter roast dinner

If you’ve been charged with the mantle of providing a hearty roast dinner this Easter, don’t panic. If you’re opting for organic meat, you can’t go wrong, as long as you get the cooking time right.

You can use a temperature probe to see how you’re getting on or go by touch. Suggested cooking times are around 20 minutes per pound for rare beef and 25 minutes per lb for lamb. Add 20-25 minutes for resting. Give yourself time to heat the oven, cook the meat until pink, and then rest the meat before serving. If you’re cooking lamb, add fresh sprigs of rosemary to the roasting dish and serve with mint sauce. If you’ve got a beef joint, horseradish is a perfect accompaniment. Drain the juices from the tray to make a delicious, flavourful, rich gravy.

If you have friends or relatives coming for dinner or Sunday lunch over Easter, why not explore the concept of organic farming and treat your nearest and dearest to a tasty, fresh feast?

April 3, 2019|Food|

5 Tips for Learning to Ride a Horse When You’re a Complete Novice!

Horse riding is easily one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities that anyone could ever experience, which is why learning to ride a horse is undoubtedly a great skill for any animal lover to gain.

Nonetheless, it can feel like quite a daunting prospect, which is why it’s crucial that you equip yourself with a winning plan of action. Follow the five simple tips below, and you won’t go far wrong.

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Bond With Your Horse

Before worrying about riding your horse, you should learn to form a bond with your horse. When you know how to tie, groom, and lead the horse in a winning fashion, you’ll have a far stronger foundation for riding success. Moreover, feeding with premium grade food like Spillers horse feed, ensures that the horse grows to be strong and healthy, which can only aid your situation as a rider too. A loving relationship truly is the first step to becoming a more competent rider.

Find A Trainer

While it certainly is possible to learn to ride a horse by yourself, there are several reasons not to. Firstly, you’ll be putting yourself and the horse at risk as a beginner’s mistake could lead to major problems. Meanwhile, it’s almost inevitable that a self-taught rider will pick up some very bad habits without even realising it. As such, hiring a competent horse riding instructor should be one of the top items on your list. If nothing else, it should provide peace of mind.

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Wear The Right Equipment

You already know how important it is for your horse to wear the right horseshoes, but you must also think about the equipment being used for riding. The right choice of saddle and bridle is essential while you must also discover how to fit them in a way that is comfortable for the horse and safe for you. As a new rider, you may wish to wear a helmet while all children should wear them along with protective boots, clothing, and pads. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Take It Slow

It’s tempting to unleash your inner John Wayne right away, but it’s important to remember that slow and steady wins the race. You’ll have a whole lifetime to build up speed and become more confident in the saddle. Start with learning to walk and halt before moving on how to turn using the direct rein and the neck reins. Trotting, cantering, and loping can all come at a later date. Once again, there is no rush to get faster and you should simply look to get better as you grow in confidence.

Learn To Fall

When you do get confident, you’ll soon realise that jumps and obstacles are a great way to stimulate your horse while also boosting your personal enjoyment. However, this will almost certainly lead to a few falls along the way. Learning to fall in a safe manner and perform an emergency discharge without serious injury will go a long way to boosting your confidence and also allows you to keep your horse away from major danger in those situations.

While there is still a long journey ahead, these five steps will make you a far more competent rider. Above all else, remember to enjoy it!

April 3, 2019|Health|

FAQ: Traveling Around Europe in a Van with Our Dog!

Last year we went on an epic 2-month road trip around Europe in our converted campervan with our dog, Alfie. It was one heck of an experience! In a nutshell we covered 6,150 kilometres, 920,692~ steps between the 2 of us, 9 countries, 15 cities, 10 towns, 24 areas of natural beauty, 17 lakes, 3 summits, over 48,000ft altitude gain (4,265ft of which was a toboggan run!), 19 bucket list items, 2 roadside assistance breakdowns, 1 gas leak that resulted in the van catching fire.

It was something I wanted to do for a while, and as soon as I could commit the time and money to do it, we got on the road. When we got back from our travels we got asked tons of questions. So I decided to put together a post on some of the things we get asked the most. I’m planning on slowly writing about each location that we visited (eventually!), so stay tuned.

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What was your favourite stop?

It’s difficult to say because we went to so many different places and they were all so wildly different. But sitting underneath the majestic Toblerone mountain, Matterhorn, in Zermatt, Switzerland was one of the most awe-inspiring views I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. I could have sat there all day marvelling at the view (to which I did…).

What did you learn

We learnt so much, more than I ever thought we would. From learning about Low Emission Zones in cities and driving regulations in Europe through to stuff that really changed my perspective. For example, I learn that if I don’t work every minute of every day, my business doesn’t fail. I also learn that having a work fire extinguisher is essential when you’re travelling in a camper van.

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Did you guys argue

S and I don’t really argue. Occasionally we bicker about how I have too many clothes or about how S doesn’t clean his desk, overall though we’re pretty relaxed. Living in a tiny van for 2 months was going to be a test for us but we barely argued, other than when we got lost a couple of times. Even in horribly stressful situations we somehow still managed to laugh through it.

What went wrong?

In the beginning, EVERYTHING. The van broke down, we had a gas leak and set our ‘home on wheels’ on fire, S snapped off the door handle, our electric cool-box broke, the wing mirror broke off. But we worked through it and we were rewarded with the trip of a lifetime. Sometimes we felt like going home but I’m so glad we didn’t because the majority of our bad luck passed in the first week and it was 100% worth it.

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How did you work and travel?

We’re so lucky that we can work from anywhere in the world, as long as we have our laptops. We both had 45GB of data and used personal hotspots to work, and we charged our laptops on the solar panels on the van. It was difficult trying to concentrate when you’re somewhere new and gorgeous every day, so we welcomed rainy days, although we only got about 3!

Would you do it again

Everybody asks us this. 100% we would do it again. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I wish I could do it all over again right now. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and we can’t just travel all the time. We could have carried on but we have other priorities in our life, so we need to juggle that. One day though, we’ll be back on the road when the time is right.

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Was it difficult travelling with Alfie?

Absolutely not. I thought taking Alfie was going to hinder our trip, but bringing him with us had no negative impact. We had to make a couple of adjustments but everywhere we went in Europe was so dog-friendly. We loved having him with us and he enjoyed being walked 12+ hours a day. He was so well behaved, even when he went on a gondola in Venice!

How much did you spend?

We get asked this a lot, too. We never calculated how much we spent on the van, diesel, food and exploring. It was far from cheap, which is the reason we’ve decided never to work it out. Let’s just say, It would have been cheaper to fly/drive to each destination and stay in a hotel every night for 2 months… But alas! we had an unforgettable adventure, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

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What would you do differently?

Surprisingly, not much. Everybody said our van was too small to travel around Europe in, and whilst a larger than would have been nice, we didn’t spend a huge amount of time in it so it didn’t matter much. When we do it again, we’ll be doing it with a much newer van. I love that Boris was a retro beauty, but spending a week broken down at a garage in Belgium was pretty stressful.

April 1, 2019|Van Life|
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**WINNER** Best European Lifestyle Blog 2018 🌺🥥

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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!🍓

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