Tag Archives: nature

How To Make Your Winter Garden Look Fantastic

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How To Make Your Winter Garden Look Fantastic

America is in the midst of a gardening boom: one in three households grows food at home or in a co-op garden. Even millennials are joining in with gardening and the economic downturn doesn’t discourage people, either. Those with green thumbs are sure to dread the winter months. While your hard work is shining bright in the spring and summer, during the winter your pride and joy can sometimes be buried under a layer of frost and dead leaves. However, if you’re willing to change your perception a little, winter can actually be a great time for your garden. Here’s why, and a few tips on how to make your winter garden look fantastic:

Benefits of winter for your garden:

It turns out that gardens that experience winter may have some advantages over their warmer cousins. According to research from the University of Minnesota, many pests which are harmful to gardens hibernate when the weather gets cold. In addition, weeds grow more slowly and thanks to low light and less evaporation, plants often require less water in the winter. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Choose winter friendly veggies and crops:

Although you might have to give up on your tomatoes and most other fruiting crops during the winter months, there are many tasty and cold-hardy vegetables you can try to grow, instead. Top choices are Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, onions, and some types of spinach. Look for vegetables with leaves, stems, and roots, that mature more and more slowly as the weather cools and the days shorten. As an added bonus, some of these vegetables sweeten as the weather gets colder!

Making your garden look great:

There are many ways to brighten up a barren winter garden. Focal points such as an outdoor wall mounted fountain, a sculpture, or boulder can draw interest all year round. Water features such as ponds can look stunning in winter, becoming the center of attention in contrast to their plainer surroundings.

Thanks to the lack of weeds, winter-hardy plants, and the potential for dramatic winter views, winter gardening is a lot nicer than you might think. So grab your gloves and your shovel and join America’s gardening boom. 

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4 Reasons Why Blue Is The Most Soothing Color For Interior Decor

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4 Reasons Why Blue Is The Most Soothing Color For Interior Decor

Some colors are naturally overwhelming to your senses, but blue somehow promotes calm because most people associate blue with something good in their life. There are varying shades of blue and none of them have been noted to give you a headache from exposure. Whereas, too-bright colors, like lemon yellow or neon green, have been known to cause migraines if viewed in large doses.

Blue is a color that is widely associated as soothing and these are the top four reasons why. Incorporate various shades of blue into your decor and get your calm on!

Blue Goes with Nearly Everything in Your Home Decor:

Like your favorite pair of denim jeans that goes with everything in your wardrobe, other shades of blue go with nearly everything in your home decor. You can pick a single shade of blue, then plan an entire room around it. For example, if you deck the walls in cobalt blue, you can add touches of silver in vases, pillows, and frames, to represent the night sky directly after a sunset. Fairy lights optional!

There are Dozens of Shades of Blue:

You could count off two handfuls of blue shades and still not be done naming all of the different kinds of blue. There are dozens to choose from; ergo, you get more to work with when designing your interiors. And who doesn’t love options?! You could wind up with four or five different shades of a similar color just because it makes you feel calm and positive, and your room will look positively fabulous.

Blue is Associated with Good Things in Nature:

From the beautiful blues of the oceans, to the blues of summer skies or velvety nights, the color is often associated with the beauties of nature. And you can design your home with these shades of blue, using nature as your inspiration. When designing a room around your favorite nature scene, use a blue hue as the backdrop, then add onto your palette with other colors from the same scene. For instance, if you love the cerulean of a rainbow, throw in red, yellow, orange, and purple accents around the room to complete the prism look.

Often Times, Blue is Associated with Favorite Scents:

You would be surprised, but most people associate their favorite colors with their favorites scents. When someone closes their eyes and sees green, they might envision forests, fresh-cut grass, and raindrops on flowers. Whereas, when people think of blue, they imagine sea breezes, brisk summer rains, and cold winter nights. From the palest blues to the deepest indigos, the color blue inspires a scent that is as crisp and refreshing as a huge intake of clean, mountain air.

Blue is soothing because it simply is. There are different reasons for different people, but it’s no wonder why it’s such a popular color for home decor. Some people have a natural knack for interior design and choosing colors that “work”. But if that is so not you, you can always pay an hourly rate for the advice of a home renovation contractor. It will be well worth it, once you have your own little slice of zen in your home to unwind in after a stressful day!

Featured Image By: Pantone

New England Fall Fun

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New England Fall Fun

Hello everyone and welcome to another fabulous post in my Falling For Fall series compliments of the sweet Ashley from Ashley Beth Beauty! One of the most well traveled areas in the US when fall time hits is New England. The beauty of the leaves changing on thousands of trees makes it an obvious travel spot, so what better way to learn more about New England than from a local?! Today, Ashley will be telling us about some amazing places to visit on your next NE vaca:

New England Fall Fun

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to talk about some different activities to do during your visit to New England this fall. From leaf peeping to apple picking and learning about the history of early America, there are many activities to do here, like the following:

New Hampshire’s White Mountains: If you want the ultimate fall experience in New England, visit the Omni Mount Washington Resort. It is in the heart of New Hampshire and there are plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy. The hotel itself is absolutely beautiful with the most breathtaking views. Since you are in the middle of Mount Washington, there are great hiking trails nearby with difficulty levels ranging from beginner to expert. If you have little ones, check out Story Land or Santa’s Village, which are both theme parks with shows, rides, and attractions. Another option is the Cog Railway. It is a three hour round trip train ride that will bring you to the top of Mount Washington. Talk about leaf peeping!

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Salem, Massachusetts Witch Trials: The Salem Witch Trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Salem, Massachusetts in the 1600s. Now the town of Salem brings the history and stories of these people to life. You can visit everything from the Salem Witch Museum to the historic House Of The Seven Gables. These are amazing activities for the history buffs, all while experiencing the beautiful foliage of Massachusetts. This city is located on the coast so you can learn a little history, shop, and check out Pickering Wharf.

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Vermont Maple Syrup Tour: Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock, VT is a 550 acre farm, which is run by the Luce family. You can visit this farm and learn about the process of making and collecting maple syrup. They also make cheeses that you are welcome to sample. Not only do you learn a lot at this farm, but the views are absolutely amazing. You can hike along the trails and the ride up to Vermont is just gorgeous. Visit here during the fall, and the leaves and clear sky will make for great photos and memories. Check out their website for more information at http://www.sugarbushfarm.com !

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Hope you all are inspired to take a fall trip to New England!

Xoxo

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Thank you so much again to Ashley from Ashley Beth Beauty for providing us with some fabulous New England travel info! Where is your favorite spot to visit in the fall? How does the area that you live in embrace autumn? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Playbuzz

Bringing The Great Indoors, Outdoors: 4 Steps To Consider

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Bringing The Great Indoors, Outdoors: 4 Steps To Consider

People love to spend time outside, which is why enjoying the Great Outdoors is a modern design trend. Even with the fall and winter months approaching, homeowners want to extend the outdoor season as long as possible. But did you know that you can extend your time outdoors the whole year round? These design tips are ready-made for spending time on the patio. There is nothing better to take the edge off after a stressful day!

Here are the four things to think about if you are a lover of nature and interior design:

Invest In A Comfy Furniture Set: The first port of call is the furniture. Simply put, you can’t relax outside if there is nowhere to chill. However, any old pieces won’t do because they have to be durable enough for the cooler temperatures. With this in mind, think about opting for deep seating with a fabric finish. That way, the furniture will be cozy and comfy, but it will also be sturdy enough to deal with the worsening weather. If you want a modern twist, even contemporary living room furniture is usable outdoors. As long as there is space, a Giotto Marsala fabric chair from Sun Pan is a great alternative. And finally, furniture covers are a must, as well – especially if your area gets a lot of rain or snow.

Transition To Autumn Textures: Throw pillows and blankets have a big role to play in the development because they accessorize and add warmth. Not only is it important to offset the style, but it is vital to add a sense of functionality. To do this, think about using throws which exploit autumn and winter textures. For example, wool or fleece is a far better option than cotton or polyester. Not only is it warmer, but it also blends in with the furniture fabrics, as well as the natural outdoor textures. Also, a floor rug with a thick thread count is another chic option.

Crank Up The Heat: Covering up is always a good way to stay warm when the mercury drops outside. Still, it is not a foolproof plan, and it won’t work all of the time, especially when the weather gets terrible. If you want to spend time in the Great Outdoors, you will need a backup plan such as a space heater. Of course, the heater blasts out hot air, but it also takes up minimal space. And, it is sleek enough to keep in the corner so it will be out of the way of the other features. If you want something different, an outside fire pit is also a really cool alternative.

Let There Be Light: Last but not least, you need to be able to see. If you can’t, there is no reason to be sitting outside in the pitch black. The key to relaxing is taking the edge off, and it isn’t possible when there is zero light. You don’t want to add too much because it will ruin the ambiance, though. This is where fairy lights come into play. Not only are they dim, but they are textured and easy to fit on the gazebo ceiling or wrap around a beam. Not to mention that you can get them in a variety of adorable styles and colors!

For those who want to spend time outside even as the temperature drops, these tips for an indoors inspired outdoors are the way to go!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Improving Your Emotional Well-Being, Starting With You

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Improving Your Emotional Well-Being, Starting With You

While the world is still full of many wrongs – many things we would alter, tweak, and change – we are moving in the right direction on so many critical topics, not least of all mental health. Funding, awareness, openness, and the battle against its stigma. These are all ways in which we are improving as a society that realizes the debilitating outcomes for those unlucky enough to be preyed on by their own mind.

But the one thing that can have the biggest influence above all is you. Sure, that may sound cliched, but what’s wrong with that? Cliches are just truisms. Of course, the only way that you can help yourself on an emotional level is knowing how you can take better care of yourself. Get that right and your well-being will follow.

The Word ‘No’: We are taught to say ‘yes’ from an early age. Taught that the word ‘yes’ brings with it opportunity and adventure, and this is true. However, it is important to respect the word ‘no’, too. By learning when and how to say no with grace and understanding, you will find it much easier to fit in the things that you want and need to. There is never enough time or energy to do everything. So in order to enjoy saying ‘yes’ you need to know how to say ‘no’, as well.

Go Outside Every Day: When you are trapped in the vice-like grip of depression or anything of that ilk, the idea of crawling out from under the duvet and leaving your bed can be unfathomable, let alone leaving the house. However, research has proved that spending time outdoors can boost your energy and emotional strength, while also giving you a heightened sense of well-being.

Make Big Waves: Mental health issues can manifest in so many different forms, including severe dependencies. Escaping this crux can be as tough as it gets, so don’t be afraid to make big waves and take big steps. Seek help. Speak to therapists. Look at that extended stay treatment at Beachway. Approach councilors. Your mental health and emotional well-being is the most important thing that you have, which is why you shouldn’t accept any compromises. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Get Lots Of Sleep: Studies have shown that you should get at least seven and a half hours of sleep each night. This is because sleep deprivation, whether it be broken sleep or chronic insomnia, can lead to weight gain, a loss of focus, feeling unstable, and a general lack of productivity. If you manage to get into a good sleep pattern, not only will you feel better, but you will be better too.

Respect Yourself: We neglect ourselves without even realizing it. That is why you should start making a conscious effort to treat yourself in the same way that you treat your family and closest friends. Imagine how you would help a friend that was suffering in the same way that you are. We’re talking about offering yourself compassion, respect, kindness, and advice. Pushing yourself to be a better you is important, we can’t deny that. But being hard on yourself is different. Being hard on yourself only encourages guilt and can harm your emotional well-being to no end.

Every new aspect of your life starts with you, including improving upon your mental health. Make goals, challenge yourself, and take the steps necessary to start a lifestyle in which you are kinder to yourself.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Backyard Beauty

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Backyard Beauty

Hello everyone and happy Thursday!! As you all know, I don’t care for summer in the slightest. And by that I mean that I friggen hate it. But the one thing that I actually do like about it (Other than my birthday!), is my glorious backyard. Saying that my beloved father has a green thumb is a severe understatement. Over the years, he has nurtured our back as well as front yards into an outdoor garden fit for a king. This year’s bounty has been particularly beautiful and I just had to share some pictures with all of you. It brightens my day whenever I see the fruits of my dad’s hard work and I’m sure that all of the lovely flowers seen below will do the same for you!

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What are your likes and dislikes about summer? 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

3 Lessons Every New Photographer Will Learn In Time

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3 Lessons Every New Photographer Will Learn In Time

Photography is a hobby that’s easy to pick up, but difficult to master. Most people enter the world of photography as a fun side activity, but quickly begin to get immersed once they realize the creative potential and open-to-interpretation nature of partaking in said hobby.

With so many beautiful photo editing sites available on the market, and a seemingly endless amount of interesting events, people, and places to photograph, the only difficulty you’ll have from the day you pick up a camera is ‘shutter anxiety’. Shutter anxiety is best defined as wanting to photograph everything you come across but realizing that 5000 pictures might be hard to organize afterwards. It happens to the best of us.

Photography is a brilliant hobby because if you begin by using the right Sony camera, it will train you to see the world in your daily life. The smallest details will present themselves to you with wonder, and you’ll notice that your creative ability is bolstered throughout other means of expression, too. Drawing or painting a landscape is a beautiful feat when you have countless hours photographing nature packed away in the back of your memories.

Photography trains people for the better. If you’re looking to potentially delve into picking up photography as a hobby, you might not understand how it will change you. For the most part, you can expect:

An Appreciation For The Environment: While traversing the plains, exploring abandoned buildings, climbing sky-high towers to witness beautiful skylines, or simply private events that usually go unnoticed, you’ll develop a much keener eye to observe the gorgeous world around you. Not only that, but you’ll become proactive within it, always considering what visual beauty can be captured around the next corner.

It’s rare for a hobby to help instill in you a sense of adventure, but photography can do that to no end. In fact, comically, it can work to your detriment. When out with a friend, you might insist on taking the road less traveled to get to your destination, and this is something a non-photographer might not understand as easily. However, they surely will once you show them the final photo results.

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You’ll Develop Perfectionist Tendencies: Photography is an art that demands a creative touch. You don’t need to adhere to the ‘tried and tested’ methods of composing shots well, such as using the rule of thirds or figuring out where the light travels to best guide the eye of a future viewer. However, perfectionist tendencies do develop after a period of photographing. You might find yourself waiting until 2 AM to catch that perfect shade of moonlight over a town statue that you respect. This can bleed over into all aspects of your life. Your creativity will certainly be boosted as well as your attention to detail.

Your Digital Media Fluency Will Increase: To best develop photographs in the modern day, using an SLR camera will require that you have some form of electronic storage capacity. To upload the photos, using apps like Instagram might work well for you, but you’ll need to learn how to correctly size and maybe edit the photo in a program like Photoshop or Gimp to best squeeze the most value out of every snap you take.

No matter who you are, no one will look at the world in the same way as you. Photography is a natural extension of your worldview and it’s up to you to get out there and capture it.

Featured Image By: Flickr