Tag Archives: cold

More Spring Flowers To Brighten Your Day

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More Spring Flowers To Brighten Your Day

Hello! At my parent’s house a few weeks ago, my dad got a bouquet of the most lovely orange and yellow tulips for the kitchen table. I was so enamored by the sunburst colors, especially in the middle of winter, and I didn’t think that anything could be prettier. That is, until I saw the beautiful arrangement that my dad made special for Valentine’s Day. The ruby red tulips he picked out were such a unique twist on traditional V-Day roses and it also rang true to my Lil Red namesake so, of course, I was smitten! Check it out:

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Whenever I see a new bouquet at my parent’s house, it never fails to put a huge smile on my face. My dad has never been known to spend more than five dollars or so on flowers but he always manages to make his arrangements look stunning and expensive. These store bought tulips are divine, yes, but they still have nothing on my dad’s wildflower bouquets fresh from his garden in the summer!

As you can tell in the pictures above, there was snow on the ground when my dad made this bouquet and the contrast of the freshly fallen snow and the fiery red flowers was like Mother Nature putting on her own personal show special for us. I can’t imagine anyone not being able to delight in beautiful, colorful flowers and I feel so lucky that I constantly get to enjoy them at my parent’s house. ❤

What is your favorite flower? Do you have a green thumb? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Spring Cleaning: It’s Never Too Early To Start!

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Spring Cleaning: It’s Never Too Early To Start!

Although spring time feels like it’s just around the corner, we still have a while to go until moderate temperatures and beautiful flowers blooming. However, it is never too early to start some spring cleaning to breathe some freshness into your home after a long and claustrophobic almost year of living during a pandemic. I, myself, did a fair bit of pre-spring cleaning during a random day off last week and once I was done, the atmosphere in my apartment felt much more relaxed from pecking away at the clutter. I plan on utilizing the following mental bullet points I came up with as I continue to clean up my place:

Get Prepared:

This may seem like a no brainer to have all of the necessary supplies handy to employ in your cleaning but, sadly, it’s not for me because I always forget to buy them when I’m grocery shopping! Trust me, your motivation to clean will quickly dissipate when you realize you don’t even have a sponge. Prior to your cleaning day, make sure you have everything you will need. Whether this be renting a dumpster bin through Bins Toronto for a massive haul away or picking up all of the products to deep clean your bathroom with, it’s better to do it beforehand. This way, you won’t be scrambling (Or completely not want to clean!) on your planned spring cleaning day.

Work In Sections:

Lighten the mood of the overwhelming dread that comes with saying “I’m going to clean the house today” to “I’m going to clean the living room today”, instead. Breaking your cleaning process up into sections will make it much less daunting of a task. You will also be able to really deep clean if you work room by room as opposed to a lighter cleaning all over. Before I did my pre-spring cleaning, I decided that I wanted to put all of  my laundry away and clean the kitchen and coffee table that were both very cluttered. I set an achievable cleaning goal and I felt good about the fact that I spent the extra time to do it the best I could.

Providing individual attention to each room will make your entire house feel more open, lighter, and relaxed.

Make It Fun:

Cleaning is hard work but it doesn’t have to be a totally miserable process! I always seem to get my best cleaning done when I have music playing. Then, not only am I cleaning but I am also starring as lead vocals, back up vocals, and guitar in all of my favorite songs. Hey, whatever works! Whether it be listening to music, motivating yourself with Starbucks, or dictating your memoirs – do what you can to make cleaning an, if not enjoyable, than slightly less awful of a chore for you.

Starting your spring cleaning early will make it feel like your house fast forwarded into April and, I don’t know about you, but that sounds great to me!

Making The Most Out Of Your Time At Home This Winter

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Making The Most Out Of Your Time At Home This Winter

Now that we are in the midst of the cold, dark winter months you are most likely spending the majority of your time cooped up at home since social distanced outdoor hang outs are out of the question. It is probably the longest time a lot of us have spent continuously at home, in the space of just a few months! However, there are ways you can turn this negative into a productive positive with the following ideas:

Learn new skills:

When is the last time that you ever had seemingly unlimited time at home? I can’t remember! Now is the best time to take up new hobbies like cooking, baking, crafting, or photography. It is also ideal for finishing those projects that you have wanted to get around to but never had the time for. Paint the guest room, redecorate the bathroom, or clean out the garage – it feels good to check items off of your to do “eventually” list!

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Keep your home nice and toasty:

At this point in your time at home, you might end up noticing jobs that need to be done around the house like when you spot a hole in the ceiling of your roof as you pack away Christmas decorations in the attic. This is when you need the assistance of Blue Spruce Roofing Company who are professional roofing experts that will be able to inspect and repair any problems you are experiencing. It’s vital to ensure that your cozy nights remain just that, nice and toasty and totally draft free.

You might also want to think about making sure that your heating is in a good state of repair. The best way to make sure of that is to call out an expert HVAC repair and installation team. They will be able to determine if there are any problems with the heating, and take whatever necessary steps to overcome the issue. That will make for a much toastier home this winter.

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Declutter your space:

Now is the ideal time to reorganize, sort through your possessions, and actually drop your bags of used items off at a local charity instead of driving around with them in the trunk of your car for months. These items could also be regifted, sold online via Facebook marketplaces, or apps like Offer Up. Free up that unnecessary clutter in your life and start afresh. If you haven’t made use of whatever you are considering letting go of in the past year then, chances are, you won’t be using it again.

Heading into 2021 gives you the opportunity to enter into a brand new year with a completely clean slate. Leave all negative vibes behind in 2020 and continue to stay safe by making the most out of your time at home. Cheers!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Controlling Home Pests In The Winter

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Controlling Home Pests In The Winter

It’s winter now and you might be thinking it’s time to relax your home’s defenses. What creatures and critters could possibly invade your home at this time of year? The answer is plenty. When the cold weather comes, many animals seek shelter and they often find it. Mice and rats burrow into your basement, spiders find tiny access holes, and insects find excellent wall space for new nests. Below are some of the common culprits and what to do about them:

Winged Carpenter Ants:

Ants don’t always walk along the ground in neat military rows, sometimes they fly. In a colony of Carpenter Ants there will be several that have wings. These winged ants are useful for collecting soft wood material for the nest. It’s common to find some flying ants in your home during the summer, they might have a nest outside somewhere and are looking for soft wood. However, in winter it means something else. The cold weather should have killed them so there must be a nest in your home. You will need to contact an exterminator.

Cluster Flies:

You should be familiar with cluster flies even if you haven’t heard them called that before. These are the most common species of fly, the ones that you find in your fruit bowl or on the window ledge. Cluster flies are common in the summer but in winter, it could be a problem. Cluster flies may have found a warm space in your home and built a nest that will allow them to survive the cold winter months. You need to locate the nest which you can do by watching the fly’s movements, alternatively, you can contact a pest control service to deal with it.

Mice:

Everyone loves cartoon mice but not everyone loves the real kind, especially if they’re wild field mice living in your home. During winter you might hear scratching sounds in the walls or catch sight of a small critter dashing across the floor. You may have mice. As the cold weather begins, mice retreat to warmer spaces and often burrow into people’s homes. A sheltered basement, garage, or a loft is the perfect place for them to survive the winter and breed. You can buy humane mouse traps or contact a specialist service.

Rats:

Rats are very common in the US but that wasn’t always the case. Prior to the discovery of the New World, rats didn’t exist on the continent. They were brought over in ships from Europe and Scandinavia. Fast forward to modern times and rats, wild rats at least, have become a common home invader. Like mice, rats don’t like the cold and retreat to warmer places as the winter approaches. The best places for them to live and breed through the cold months is often in your basement, loft, or walls. If you hear scratching sounds in the walls or ceiling, contact a professional service immediately.

Spiders:

Spiders come in all different shapes and sizes, there are thousands of species in the world and around 3,400 in the US alone. It’s estimated that around one fourth of the human population is creeped out by spiders in some way. Not only that, but they are unhygienic and lay eggs. In the winter, you may have let your guard down when it comes to home invaders but you still need to look out for spiders. They retreat from your outdoor areas inside to escape the frost and can propagate quickly. If you discover you have a spider problem you can have the area professionally cleaned.

No one wants creepy crawlies and critters in their home! Use the tips above if you are dealing with an infestation.

Featured Image By: Freepik

Doing Right By Your Dog This Winter

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Doing Right By Your Dog This Winter

As dog parents, we always want to do the best for our furry friends. The colder months are always a little more challenging than summer. But whether you’ve recently added a puppy to the family household or have been with your pooch for years, this winter could be tougher than most.

The impacts of COVID-19 will limit the possibilities in many aspects of dog care. However, you cannot afford to let it prevent your pup from receiving the love and care they deserve. Here are some tips to keep you on top of the situation throughout the early parts of 2021:

Protection from the cold:

The first job facing all dog owners is to keep them protected from the cold weather in winter. A continued commitment to fighting off frostbite and other dangers with dog shoes and coats can make a big impact. You should also use flea sprays and other protective items.

Prevention is the best form of protection at all times. While veterinary services are still open in most places, appointments may be harder to get. So, if you can avoid them altogether through improved winter care, you must grab that opportunity right away.

Pay extra care to nutrition:

A healthy dog is a happy dog, and nutrition remains the central feature. A balanced diet supported by the best dog treats will ensure that your pooch gets the right nutrients all winter. When combined with any necessary supplements, your dog’s health will soar.

It’s very easy to forget about hydration in the winter, but your dog cannot be left to go thirsty, either. Be sure to check out how much liquid a dog of your breed and size should take on each day. On a side note, brain games for dog treats are great to promote mental stimulation.

Stay active:

It’s inevitable that outdoor activities will suffer a reduction in the winter months. While this is true every year, the fact that some attractions are off-limits due to the pandemic does make it harder. Nonetheless, getting your dog out for regular exercise is as essential as ever.

Walking a combination of their favorite routes and new spots is vital for mental stimulation. Moreover, the activity promotes healthy bones, muscles, and joints. The benefits won’t always be seen right away, but you’ll notice them in the future. It’s good for weight management too.

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Cutie!!!

Create a comfy home environment:

Getting outside on a frequent basis is pivotal for your dog’s health. Nonetheless, they will be spending more time at home. So, you owe it to your pooch to ensure that it is a comfortable environment. A great dog bed and plenty of toys should be at the top of the agenda.

If the dog is a new addition to the family, you’ll also need to think about introducing them to other pets. Even the notoriously challenging dog-cat relationship can be a lot simpler to manage than you might first think. The impact it will have in winter and beyond is huge.

Spend time near other dogs:

First and foremost, you must respect the current social distancing restrictions in your local area. However, if you are able to meet a friend for outside walks, this is a great way for dogs to stay socially active. This is crucial for their mental health and emotional stimulation.

While it’s something that dogs need every year, its benefits will be greater than ever over the coming weeks. It might not be possible to do this every day, but you should aim to do it several times each week. Of course, this will be easier if you have multiple dogs.

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Besties!

Invest in good home grooming:

Some dog grooming companies will continue to offer a COVID-safe service. However, the chances of getting the same level of care that you’d usually receive are quite slim. Therefore, you must try to compensate for this by giving your pup the right home treatments.

Finding the best dog brush, nail clippers, and toothbrushes will serve you well. For the true dog parlor vibe, luxury shampoos and conditioners can be used too. Once you embrace the habit, you may find that your reliance on professionals is reduced after the pandemic too.

Think about the heat:

When at home in the cold weather, we all gravitate towards heat sources. However, this can be a danger for dogs if they get too close to heaters and run the risk of dehydration and skin burns. Therefore, radiator covers and fire guards are vital additions. Do it ASAP.

Good air circulation will certainly help the situation while also reducing the threat of bacteria growth. The potential issues with the heat also provides a reason to ensure that water is readily available for your dog throughout the day.

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Snug as a bug.

Manage the backyard:

The backyard is a spot where your dog will gain regular exercise and stimulation. Sadly, if you do not take winter precautions, there’s a risk that they will escape. For example, snow can quickly build up against fences to create potential escape routes.

Likewise, adverse weather could damage panels to create further escape routes for your pup. So, if you wish to avoid this problem, it’s important to inspect the yard each morning before letting the pup out to play. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Show love:

Perhaps most importantly, your dog needs love and attention at this time. And frankly, given your lack of human interaction, it’s vital for you too. Playing games with your pet will deliver mutual mental health rewards. When your dog is happier, it will show in their behavior.

The key is to avoid long-term spells without seeing the pup. For many people, that will be easier than ever due to working from home. If you are still at the office, though, you must find alternative solutions. A dog sitter may not be possible at this time, though, so it’s important to be as present as you can.

Do right by your pups this winter with the tips above. Stay safe!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Protecting Your Dogs In Winter Weather

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Protecting Your Dogs In Winter Weather

When winter comes around, every good pet owner will want to make sure their pooch is happy and safe. We can put on layers, while they cannot. We can avoid puddles and slippery ice on the sidewalk, just by knowing what would entail if we stood in them. Dogs don’t seem to realize their paws will get stuck to the ice and this can be incredibly dangerous and painful. Not to mention, they tend to bring in half the snowfall, as they come inside our homes from walks. We can help our dogs remain safe, not lose our minds with all of the cleanup duties, and enjoy winter together as good pet owners:

Frostbite danger:

Many people will still try to take their restless dog outside in the cold for his morning and evening walks. However, no matter what kind of dog you have, always make him or her wear some shoes. In the wild, dogs are not just roaming around in the cold. They avoid harsh conditions but we have domesticated dogs that want to stick to a routine and need to be outside at a particular time of day. That’s fine, but dogs will start to shiver and their paws become numb if they have prolonged contact with the frozen pavement. So make sure that they are wearing winter shoes or they might suffer from frostbite which is extremely painful.

 

He wants to snuggle:

If your pup isn’t allowed on the furniture, give him an elevated bed so it’s not touching the cold floor. If your dog’s bed is on tiles or hardwood floors, then it will lose warmth. But if you keep it off the ground this won’t be an issue. Nevertheless, give your dog an extra blanket or a thicker blanket for the winter. It is equally as important to move the dog’s bed away from draft-prone areas such as close to windows and doors.

Messy paw prints:

When your dog has been outside in the garden to do his business, he will have muddy paws. You can bet that during winter, in the rain and melting ice, the garden will become a muddy mess and that mess will be brought inside. Your furry friend doesn’t know any better, but thanks to a good reliable carpet cleaning service you won’t need to stay upset for too long. The paw prints won’t be permanent and your nice area rug won’t be scarred for life. They use a special patented Hot Carbonating Extraction service which does a very hot deep cleansing clean of any carpet. The carbonation doesn’t harm the carpet fibers and they don’t need to use any undue pressure to get the mud and muck out.

A need for more:

Just like you, during the winter your dog is going to want more food. It’s natural, as we need more energy to shiver, keep warm, and regulate our metabolism during winter. However, do not use this as your only method of helping your dog get through winter. Although he might beg for more food, you should be wary of feeding him too much. Instead, you should only add an extra 10-15% calories more than he would normally have. Give him a jumper or inside top to wear and this way he will not need to burn as many calories to stay warm.

Brush his paws:

If you go for walks on the pavement instead of on the grass in the park, then beware of grit salt getting stuck in between his paws. This can lead to the skin splitting and becoming raw if left alone. Just use a simple toothbrush to wipe your dog’s paws clean as he gets inside. It will make sure little pieces of grit do not remain lodged in your dog’s paws. Again, as we have recommended earlier, just buy him some winter shoes and all of this will be avoided.

Your dog is counting on you to stick to his routine so he doesn’t feel anxious and become restless. But he also needs protection from the icy gritty pavement. These are just some of the things you can do to keep your pet safer this winter.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How To Enjoy A Calm Winter

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How To Enjoy A Calm Winter

Winter is well and truly on its way. In fact, it’s pretty much here. And with what’s going on in the world right now, you may find that you really don’t want to be spending too much time on anything that’s strenuous or that takes your energy away. And if that’s the case, you will be reaping as many of the benefits that a winter hibernation can offer you. At this time of the year, we don’t always want to spend too much outside or on hard activities. Instead, we want to be able to slow down and make sure that we can get through to spring feeling fantastic. To help you to do that, you may find that the ideas below will inspire you:

Switch off more:

To start with, one of the best things that you can do here is to make sure that you’re letting yourself switch off as much as possible. If you’re always on the go or your mind is always racing, your time won’t be calm. So try to switch off from work or the online world for a little bit if you can.

Distance yourself:

From here, you might want to try and think about keeping your distance from negativity. This may seem like a strange thing to add in as a winter practice, however, it can be really beneficial for your mind. If you know that you have a lot of toxic people in your life as you’re choosing to enjoy a few calming months, it’s good to try and keep them at arm’s length. That way, you know that your tranquillity won’t be threatened.

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Make room for calming practices:

The next thing that you might want to do is make sure that you are welcoming more calming practices into your life. You may find that you are able to feel a lot calmer throughout the colder months when you actively look to make this happen. Maybe you want to read instead of watch TV? Turn to something like Bloom Farms CBD instead of alcohol? Or quiet games nights with family rather than something rowdier? It all helps.

Treat yourself better:

Even if you think you already do this, you may not be treating yourself as well as you’d think. Are you resting? Are you looking after your body? Are you prioritizing your needs? If not, then you’re going to want to make sure that you change this. You’ll find it helps you to be a lot calmer and feel much better about yourself.

Enjoy the downtime:

Finally, you may find that it’s actually really nice for you to just enjoy more of the downtime. Winter isn’t always as fun, busy, and outgoing as summer – and it needn’t be. With winter comes the cold and dark and it’s not always the time of year that you want to be active. So just let yourself enjoy the calm and the slower pace. Do less. Relax. Be slow. Lap up all of the things you can do in hibernation before a glorious springtime comes back once again.

Ready, set, relax with the tips above and have a calm and safe winter!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

How To Ace Winter At Home

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How To Ace Winter At Home

Winter varies from place to place but unless you’re somewhere on the equator the likelihood is that it’s going to be cold. Sure, some places are worse than others and will need better home preparation but, in most cases, there’s usually a few things needing to be done to ensure the home is a functioning and comfortable place to be during the winter months. Some people love winter. The coziness of it is what attracts people, and Christmas, of course. Others hate it. They don’t do well with the darkness and cold, and that’s fine. Either or, here are some tips to help you succeed over the winter months:

Get your energy solutions sorted:

Energy prices fluctuate year in and out which is why you need to change your provider often. If you want a good winter, you don’t want to pay too much money for your energy, so make sure you consider changing providers. You might also want to look at your insulation. Of course, a heating and cooling company can check this out for you. If you know you don’t have any it could be a worthy investment which could save you a lot of money on energy. In the same vein, you’ll want to get your boiler and other burning devices serviced so that you know they’re safe to operate.

Clean the gutters:

Winter usually brings rain and snow. This will increase water flow and really clog up your gutters, especially if you live somewhere close to trees. The leaves are usually the key culprits of gutter blockage. You can buy the tools for these on amazon but you might just be better off approaching someone to do it for you. If you do it yourself, make sure there’s someone under you holding the ladder so you don’t fall.

You might also need to clear the drains which the gutters run into. These can be more important because they’ll cause standing water issues around your home, small puddles might be manageable but when you get the bigger ones it’ll be a lot harder to handle in most cases. It’s just a case of lifting the lid with a gloved hand and pulling the leaves out.

Check the alarms:

You’ll be at home more often due to the winter weather and this is even more prevalent this year due to coronavirus. So make sure it’s safe. Check your smoke alarms first, then make sure you’ve got a working carbon monoxide alarm in place around any fossil burning appliance. Then you need to ensure the house alarm is working. If it isn’t, think about upgrading or at least making the current one work properly. If you can’t afford it don’t panic, just make sure your doors and locks are secure and be sure to check the windows too.

Get your home in tip top shape before the winter comes with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Getting Your Home In Shape For Cold Weather

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Getting Your Home In Shape For Cold Weather

We’re fast approaching the autumnal and winter months and many of us can’t wait! This season goes hand in hand with all sorts of things that many of us love, including cozy nights in, hot drinks, seasonal festivities, and more. But it’s important to remember that this is a time of year that can prove much harsher on your home and outdoor space.

There are harsher elements to deal with and colder temperatures that could cause potential damage too. So, to help your property make it through these seasons unscathed, it’s important to put a little work in now during the lead up to them. Here are a few areas to focus on that will help you to protect and maintain your property and space as best possible:

Make Sure Your Windows are Double Glazed:

Chances are you’ve been told this time and time again, but by now, every home should have double glazing. If you don’t, you risk all of the heat you’re generating in your home escaping easily. Not only is this a huge waste of money and resources, but it is also likely to leave your property cold, which creates an unpleasant living environment for you and anyone else who lives in the house.

While new builds tend to have double glazing built in as standard, older properties in particular tend to have single glazing. If you’re unsure whether you have double glazing or not, you can always have a professional come in and check. They will then be able to fit double glazing if you don’t have it, helping your home to contain energy a lot better. You may even need Replacement Windows fitted for the best of the best.

Carry Out General Maintenance Tasks:

There are a few general maintenance tasks that are advised in the lead up to autumn and winter every year. Here are a few that you should fit into your schedule:

Clearing Gutters: The gutters outside your property help to catch rainwater from the roof and ensure that it is transported straight into a drain rather than flooding the ground around your property. However, autumn sees more leaves fall, which can clog up your gutters, along with other debris, making it so they can’t do their job properly. Make sure to have your gutters professionally cleaned during this time of year. This will prevent dripping and potential flooding when it rains heavily.

Have the Chimney Cleaned: If you have a chimney and plan to use it throughout the colder months, now is the time to hire a professional chimney sweep.

Taking Care of Your Garden:

Use Mulch: One of the areas of your garden that is most likely to be impacted by colder temperatures, lots of rain, and frost is your flower beds. To maintain these in spite of harsher elements, you should look into using mulch. Bad weather can see your flower beds become extremely prone to frost and over watering, which can freeze or clog roots in any hardier plants that you have and cause them to struggle or die. Laying down mulch provides a protective barrier against these elements and can also prevent water logging, which can give your plants and trees a much better chance of surviving the autumn and winter.

Plant Hardy Plants: If you’d still like some sort of greenery in your outdoor space during the colder months of the year, it may be a good idea to invest in and plant some more hardy plants. Any plants with petals are likely to wither or die during winter months (even if they’ll regenerate when the weather improves a little), which can leave your garden feeling empty and bare. You can avoid a barren looking garden by adding a touch of greenery in the form of evergreen trees. These are widely available and will keep their leaves year-round. Firs tend to be the most popular option, so browse local garden centers and fir specialists to find the perfect specific species for your space.

Invest in a Greenhouse: Some of us want to maintain growing fruit, vegetables, and other plants year round. This isn’t a hobby we just want to carry out in the summertime. If this sounds familiar to you, you may want to consider investing in a greenhouse. A greenhouse is a secure glass building where you can maintain a constant temperature and controlled atmosphere for your plants to thrive in. This is a particularly effective option if you’re planning on growing things like strawberries, tomatoes, and other plants that can easily be ruined by frost.

These are just a few different areas of home maintenance and improvement that you might want to consider in the lead up to the colder months of the year. Each holds its unique benefits and could prove to be something that makes you a lot happier and more comfortable throughout the autumn and winter until spring arrives again! So, why not give them a go?

Featured Image By: Elle Decor