Tag Archives: nature

Safety Tips For Exercising Outdoors   

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Safety Tips For Exercising Outdoors   

Whether it’s a gentle breeze caressing your face while you run or the sun kissing your skin while you cycle, taking your workouts outdoors is always a refreshing experience. However, it is necessary to exercise without putting your health and safety at risk. Are you thinking about taking your fitness regimen outside? Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe while you exercise:

Map your route ahead of time:

It would be pretty frustrating losing your way when going for a run, walk, or cycle outside, especially if you’re new to the area. Thankfully, almost all smartphones come with a Map application and GPS functions, so you can plan your route before setting off. It is also advisable to share your route with someone you trust before you leave. If you take your phone along, be sure to keep your location on to make locating you easier if you should get lost or injured. If you already know your area, ensure that you avoid inconvenient places like construction sites, busy streets, etc. You might also want to avoid areas with stray animals to prevent incidents such as dog bites.

Dress for safety:

From workout clothes to the shoes you wear, you should aim for comfort and safety. Regarding footwear, having on the right shoes for the right activity will help to avoid blisters, twisted ankles, or any other injury. Also, your clothes should not inhibit blood flow or airflow in any way. If you plan on doing your outdoor workout at night or under poor visibility, you should wear workout clothes with features that make you more visible, especially when working out near busy roads. For example, you can wear bright colored clothes or opt for ones with reflectors to make you more visible to motorists.

Take your cell phone along:

Carrying a phone along when going for a run can be an inconvenience as you want to run or cycle ‘freely,’ but you also need to be safe. And if you get lost in an area without any internet connection, you will need something to use to call for help. Many workout garments come with spaces to store cell phones and keep them out of the way until you need them.

Protect yourself from the sun:

Sunscreen is an absolute must if you plan to work out in the sun, especially for your face. It is best to look for sunscreen products designed specifically for athletes, as they wouldn’t come off when you sweat. Moreover, the heat can wear you out pretty fast, so don’t forget to carry a bottle of water along. If possible, try to exercise during or after sunset because the sun can be scorching in the afternoon.

Protect yourself from the cold:

Cold temperatures can also drain your energy. It is possible to burn about 6,000 calories in one day when exercising in the cold. So, make sure you wear protective clothing. You might also want to take a bottle of water along to sip, as cold temperatures can suppress thirst, and you don’t want to be dehydrated.

Working out outdoors is great but doing it safely is the best with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

DIY Projects For Your Home

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DIY Projects For Your Home

If you are handy, completing DIY projects in your home is a great way to get creative and save some money. This is especially nice as the holiday season is fast approaching and there are gifts that need purchasing! Today, we are going to discuss some DIY projects that range from a beginner skill set to advanced to spruce up your home and fatten your wallet. Let’s get to it:

Painting:

Of course, you can hire a professional house painter but you can also do it yourself! From painting your house to freshening up a couple of rooms, completing a painting project on your own can be lots of fun. You can get creative with the colors and patterns that you choose and you can even turn it into an event. Gather some friends and have a painting party. Music, pizza, and a movie night afterwards will turn a chore into an absolute blast.

Painting doesn’t just have to be limited to rooms and the exterior of your house. If your walls are looking bare, try your hand at painting your own unique artwork to hang up. You can watch tutorials on YouTube or attend a Paint Night with friends to help you get inspired.

Refurbishing:

Refurbishing old and used furniture is an awesome way to save money and even make money if you’d like to sell your completed pieces on the side. It is also eco-friendly as you can purchase used pieces from a secondhand store and give them a whole new life. From sanding and painting to upholstering and adding on to the existing piece, there are lots of possibilities based on your skill level. You will end up with a one of a kind table or chairs that no one else in the world will have.

Landscaping:

If you have a green thumb, landscaping projects could be the DIY for you. Hiring a landscaping company to do it for you is easy but doing it yourself will be so much more rewarding! You could build your own raised planters, make a fountain out of terracotta pots, or simply lay down that mulch that you have been meaning to do for forever. Spending time outdoors is so good for your mental health and is even better when you are with friends. Garden party, anyone?

While your DIY skills may not be HGTV worthy, it never hurts to try something new. Who knows, you might just end up finding your new favorite hobby!

4 Advantages Of Hiking With Your Dog

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4 Advantages Of Hiking With Your Dog

Hiking does not have to just be a human pursuit; it can be undertaken with a dog too! Why not combine your exercise with theirs? It will be time-saving, your dog will love it, and will save you money on paying to keep them fit in other ways that will keep you inside rather than enjoying the outdoors. So, let us consider the advantages of Hiking with dogs:

Cure for Dog Boredom:

Hiking is a good way to cure dog boredom. If they are not kept occupied, then dogs have been known to develop some rather destructive habits around the home. Owners must keep dogs both physically and mentally stimulated to avoid things being chewed and destroyed. Longer walks, such as hikes, are likely to be the solution that you have been looking for to this problem.

Extra Exercise for Both:

We could all benefit from more exercise than a couple of dog walks a day. Although all exercise is good for us, these are hardly going to keep us at peak fitness levels. So, why not make the walks longer and consider going on a hike with your dog? It will be both stimulating and healthy.

Dogs make excellent hiking or trail partners when it comes to exploring new places, and there are many breeds of dogs that are the perfect choice when it comes to extended exercise. These include Alaskan Malamute, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Bernese Mountain Dog, German Shorthaired Pointer, Portuguese Water Dog, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Siberian Husky, Vizsla, and the Weimaraner.

Don’t worry if your breed of dog is not on this list because they should still love hiking. You can take them on longer runs to test out their endurance levels, while always being aware that you have to get home again and some breeds are likely to be too heavy to carry!

Boost a Dog’s Enthusiasm for the Outdoors:

Although the majority of dogs will enjoy the outdoors and their walks, there will be dogs that would seem to prefer to stay inside and sleep, even on a nice day. This will require some motivation on your part as most dog owners seek out a dog to take it on walks as much as for the company it provides.

Dogs may fear a walk if they have come across another dog that has been nasty to them or one that they simply do not like. So, if you can take them out in the car to their walk, then this may provide a more enjoyable experience and hopefully wean them back into walking as they did on the streets before they were spooked. Making a walk as enjoyable as possible will boost their enthusiasm. A hiking trail with lots of new sights and scents should do the trick.

Minimal Expense:

It costs nothing to walk and involves minimal expense commuting to a nearby spot to hike. We can rule out the cost of gym membership and, at the same time, exercise ourselves and our dog for virtually nothing in comparison. We might buy some hiking equipment to enhance, protect, and provide for a better hiking experience for us and our dog, but this can be used time and time again. Every time we enjoy hiking together, we can make use of our purchases of hiking accessories.

In terms of the hiking equipment you might need to purchase for your dog, you should consider a harness to provide more comfort and support when you are walking your dog on a lead. A collapsible bowl will be inexpensive yet take up less space in your rucksack. Most importantly, make sure that your dog has an ID tag in case they should stray from you.

Just like us, dogs can get bored! This can be rectified by exploring hiking trails in your area together for a fun new way to exercise.

Garden Tours

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Garden Tours

Hi! My dad is, hands down, the best gardener in the world and has a million green thumbs. Whenever I’m over at my parents, I always enjoy our “Garden Tours”. My dad and I will walk through the backyard together and check on the progress of his flowers and veggies. There is something new to see every time and it never gets old! Take a look at some pics from our backyard stroll and keep in mind that it was all done by a man who recently broke his dominant arm. Like I said, my dad is the best gardener in the world. ❤

My dad’s garden is home to many creatures both real and fake. There are bunnies, butterflies, bees, and bats as well as all of the decorative birds, lizards, frogs, and gnomes! My niece loves to play outside and my dad is always on the hunt for new lawn decorations to surprise her with as she is partial to the fake flamingo he has. It is also so much fun to look for bunnies and butterflies with her. 🙂

A few weeks ago, we had a family visit to the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield. The botanical gardens were splendid, but I don’t think they have anything on my dad’s backyard and I live for our Garden Tours. What a guy!

What are you growing in your garden? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 2

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Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 2

Hello! Today, we are going to take a look at my last bunch of pictures from the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, Ohio. The estate and botanical gardens of Charles Kelley King was an absolute delight to explore with my family and I am itching to go back. I am also looking forward to going to the Cleveland botanical gardens with my husband since he had to work the day we went to Kingwood. 🙂 Let’s get to it:

While it was so fun to walk through the grounds of the Kelley estate with my family, my favorite part of the day actually happened indoors. About halfway through the botanical gardens is an expertly placed children’s play center so the little ones can cool off and have quiet time after a lot of walking. We took a pit stop there with my nephew and I had the best time playing with stacking blocks and stuffed frogs with him. Due to the pandemic, it was hard to see my brother and his family who live out of state so I I really cherished getting to have some TT time with him. ❤

Another cool part of the botanical gardens is the Storybook Trail. Every twenty feet or so on this wooded path, there is a display of a page from a children’s book. As we walked the trail, my brother and I took turns reading about a baby bat named Chiro and that was also special to me since I have never got to read a story to my lil nephew before. Even though he won’t remember our day at the Kingwood Center Gardens, I will for forever. It was the best. 🙂

Are there any botanical gardens in your area? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pansy Party 2.0

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Pansy Party 2.0

Hi! A few weeks ago, I planted a pansy patch in the front yard of my parent’s house with my dad and it was a hoot. I felt so proud of our handy work after we completed our project and smile every time I see the pretty blooms. We are still waiting to begin planting vegetables but, in the meantime, my dad has begun decking out our garden space with his vast collection of solar lights and statues. This past week, he upgraded our pansy patch to a fairy garden and I love the results! Check out the 2.0 version:

Not only is the landscaping of my parent’s yard beautiful with its flowers, dogwood tree, and raised planters but it is also filled with outdoor decor that offers adorable surprises throughout. There are an abundance of strand solar lights wrapping around trees and bushes and in ground ones that display a nightly “light show” in the yard. Not to mention his insect hotels, bird baths and houses, pinwheels, wind chimes, and bird, hummingbird, and butterfly feeders that provide perfect bird watching opportunities and the music of nature.

I was so tickled when I saw the 2.0 upgrade of our pansy patch because almost all of the decorations he chose for it were gifted by me! The fairy garden motif also was special to me because my dad and I had recently enjoyed looking at the employee fairy garden contest together at one of his physical therapy appointments. Seeing the little colorful mushrooms poking out among the flowers, solar lights, and garden gnome Godzilla brought me back to the Christmases and Father’s Days that I gifted these decorations to him and it was so nice to see him still using them a few years later.

I can’t wait to garden more with my dad and am looking forward to seeing how he upgrades our next project! ❤

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

Pansy Party

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Pansy Party

Hi! My dad is an avid and exceptional gardener but, unfortunately, broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder about a month ago. Needless to say, his injury put a huge damper on his plans for his flower and vegetable garden this spring and summer so everyone in my family has stepped in to help make it happen anyways. This past week, I spent some time outside with my dad planting pansies while he oversaw the process and we are both very pleased with the outcome of our first project! Check it out:

I used to love helping my dad in the garden when I was younger and our afternoon planting flowers brought me back to those happy times in the sunshine with him. He was so sweet to provide gardening gloves for me to protect my talons with and it felt really good to metaphorically get my hands dirty and make something beautiful grow. Our pansy patch was a team effort and my dad and I planned the layout together and I dug the holes while he removed the flowers from their containers.

I absolutely love pansies because I remember helping my dad plant them back in the day and my grandma used to have them growing outside of her funeral home. I feel so proud every time I see our completed project in my parent’s yard and it immediately brings me back to the time I spent with my dad making it happen.

We gardened on the most glorious spring day and it was a blast to enjoy the weather and talk and laugh about anything and everything. In fact, it was so warm out that day that I was wearing shorts and my legs got pretty filthy. Just like in my youth, my dad helped me hose off all of the dirt once the flowers were planted and it was the perfect way to end our Pansy Party. I can’t wait to start our spring veggie garden next!

What is your favorite outdoor activity? What do you plan on growing in your garden this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

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Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

Trees can be an amazing addition to any outside space. In fact, this is such a wonderful little extra that it’s not unheard of for homeowners to ultimately make their decision to buy based on something like a lovely oak tree in a corner. Unfortunately, as amazing as they are, trees are also pretty extreme forces of nature. While this needn’t be a problem if your yard is large enough that they’re well out of reach, it could soon spell issues if your trees are up close and personal with your property.

Of course, you’re going to want to do everything that you can to avoid resorting to removal. Still, it’s vital to look out for these signs that your tree might be taking its toll on your house in the wrong ways:

Blocked gutters:

Autumn leaves can get everywhere, including into your gutters. This is the case no matter how much you sweep them up and, left unchecked, those autumnal remnants could well cause blockage issues that lead to everything from leaking pipes to damp interiors. To avoid this, it’s fundamental to rake leaves at least once a day in the fall, and also to install a drain cover that keeps the worst at bay. Make sure, too, that you invest in professional gutter cleaning or tackle this task yourself at least twice a year. That way, you can keep enjoying that tree, without once feeling its impact in your waterworks.

Overhanging branches:

Unlike flowers, trees grow wherever they want to, meaning that overhanging branches can soon become a problem. This can cause safety issues even in your own yard, but, most often, branches have a habit of growing over the garden fence. This can cause rifts with your neighbors like little else, especially seeing as they’re not legally allowed to chop those branches down. Make sure it doesn’t happen by getting any errant branches pruned at least every two to three years. This will instantly refresh your outside space, and might just ensure that you stay on the best terms with everyone else on your street.

Pexels Image

Structural damage:

Unfortunately, trees can also cause structural damage if surprisingly large tree root systems make their way under your property. If this happens, your structural foundations are at real risk, and immediate action is necessary if you notice warning signs such as cracks in your stonework, bulging walls, or uneven floors.

Luckily, tree surgeons can cut longer roots without damaging your tree itself, meaning that there’s no reason this needs to spell the end. Depending on where roots are, professionals may even be able to install root barriers that stop a repeat performance. However, this is dependent on fast action, because a tree that’s too deeply embedded underneath your house might need to go, after all.

Whether you spend much time in nature or not, trees can be an amazing addition to your yard. Or, at least, they can be if you stay vigilant of these key issues at all times!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Everything’s Coming Up Daffodils

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Everything’s Coming Up Daffodils

Hello! The last time I went to my mom and dad’s house, I was completely amazed by all of the lovely yellow daffodils lining their driveway. I had been there two days ago and there wasn’t a single bloom – then, out of nowhere, there was color everywhere. Yellow flowers always put a smile on my face because they remind me of my grandma and the daffodil surprise felt like a special hello from her. Check it out:

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The Daffodil Day was, indeed, a glorious one with temperatures in the seventies and it put me in a hopeful, happy mood. I have been enjoying my time outside so much after being cooped up all winter and have already been making the most of the nice weather with photo shoots with Johnny, going on walks with my brother, and playing at the park with my niece and sister. All of the beautiful flowers blooming is an added bonus. 🙂

I hope all of you are experiencing mild temps and flowers and here’s to a wonderful and safe spring!

What is spring weather like in your area? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

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Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

Howdy! The warm weather brings us the exciting promise of seeing friends more safely in an outdoor setting. However, it is still so important that we maintain a social distance because COVID-19 and variants of the virus are still a very real threat. Today, we’re going to look at a few outdoors activities that can be done from a social distance and are a lot of fun too. Try incorporating the following into your next outing with friends:

Paint A Masterpiece:

Pre-COVID, paint nights were insanely popular and for good reason – they’re a blast! And now, they can make a comeback because having a painting party outside is a possibility. For a project, you could all find something different to try your hand at painting or even hire a local artist to walk you through a summer landscape. Set up blankets six feet apart from each other with some snacks, drinks, and art supplies on each one. You could host the party in your own backyard or at a local park. No matter how your masterpiece turns out, it will be so nice to create with your friends in the fresh air.

Food Wars:

Everyone who likes to grill more than likely thinks they are the best at it lol so put the skills of those in your friend group to the test with a good old fashioned cook off. Every week you could have different categories like appetizers, main dishes, and desserts so the less grill savvy can participate and keep track of how everyone is faring on score cards. By the end of summer, you will find out who is the master chef!

Gardening Group:

Gardening is such a rewarding hobby and can be done from a social distance. Perhaps you and your friends could start a garden together that you can all help tend to so everyone can have fresh veggies and flowers all summer long. Of course, it doesn’t have to end there! Look up recipes that utilize the veggies you are growing and host a garden party to showcase your hard work.

Games Tournament:

Work hard play hard, amiright? But seriously, there are so many fun outdoor games that can be played from a social distance so why not put together a backyard tournament for your friends? Cornhole, bocce ball, croquet, and horseshoes are all great places to start. Don’t forget that there are huge outdoor versions of classic games like Jenga, chess, checkers, and Connect 4. If anyone has children, you could all work together to create an outdoor Candy Land board for them to enjoy.

For bonus categories in your tournament you could include best sidewalk chalk art, best bubble soap, most Pogo Stick jumps, and the like for even more fun in the sun.

Backyard Water Park:

Okay, stay with me here but how cool would a backyard water park that you and your friends put together be? I have been thinking about this so much because the pool at my apartment community won’t be open again this summer and it would be nice to have somewhere to cool off! Now, when I say water park, I don’t mean huge slides and a wave pool. No, I’m talking an ultimate Slip n’ Slide, sprinklers, water balloons, a kiddie pool to soak your feet, a sand castle building set up, and an area to work on your tan. And, of course, an endless supply of concession stand style snacks and lemonade. I think that would just be the best!

I feel like people hear the phrase “social distance” and they instantly think “less fun” but that isn’t the case at all. You just have to get a little creative, like with the ideas above, and you will safely enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors all while having a ball. 😀

What are you looking forward to this summer? How do you plan on seeing your friends social distance style? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah