Tag Archives: outdoors

Super Fun Cold Weather Activities

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Super Fun Cold Weather Activities

Hi everyone! Despite the chilly temperatures outside, I always enjoy outdoor winter activities… and then warming up inside with hot chocolate! Depending on your area, there could be a ton of exciting options for you and, lucky for me, there are a lot to pick from in my neck of the woods. Some of my favorites include:

Winter Lights At The Zoo:

On Thanksgiving weekend, my parents, boyfriend, sister, niece, and I went to the Akron Zoo during the after hours to check out their amazing holiday lights display. The whole property was lit up with gorgeous color. Some of the lights blinked, others flashed, and the bigger ones were timed to light up to the beat of Christmas carols.

Of course, it’s always fun to see the animals at the zoo but the light displays were just spectacular. I loved all of the lights shaped like different animals, especially the elephant whose trunk moved! Definitely check out if any of the zoos in your area do any special winter displays because it’s a wonderful option for all ages.

Outdoor Skating Rinks:

During the winter, I try to hit up an outdoor rink at least once. As a skater girl, it is such a good time to hit the great outdoors and show off a bit for the general public! 😀 I love the rink at Lock 3 that we have in downtown Akron, which now includes bumper tubes and ice bikes, if skating isn’t your thing.

A lot of the outdoor rinks will feature other fun activities like sledding, Christmas crafts, and holiday markets. And, did I mention the always delicious hot chocolate stands? Skating at an outdoor rink makes for a great date or hang out with your friends but try and go during a less popular time (morning or early afternoon), if you aren’t the most confident skater.

Toboggan/Sled Rides:

There is a toboggan chute in my area that I have been dying to try out and I would love to give it a go this year. It can reach speeds of up to 50 MPH, which is awesome if you are a thrill seeker, like myself. If this sounds a bit too intense for you, sled riding is another fun option and is a good one to take your children or nieces and nephews to. I am definitely hoping we can take my little niece, Valerie, down a baby hill or two this year!

Hikes Are Nice:

I always enjoy taking at least one hike during the winter time at one of the many amazing Metro Parks in my area. I think that it is so much fun to bundle up, pull on my boots, and trudge around in the snow. Not only is it an excellent work out, but I especially love to see all of the gorgeous snow coating the trees and feeling myself warm up just a little bit more with every step.

Playing In The Snow:

Playing in the snow is not just for children anymore, especially because boozy hot chocolate is definitely a thing! Gather up your friends during a fresh snowfall and relive your childhood with snowmen, snowball fights, and snow angels. Finish out your snow session with a bonfire to warm you up!

When there’s so many fun options for outdoor winter activities, you can create a memorable and inexpensive afternoon with your favorite people. Keep the spirit of the day going with Christmas movies and warm drinks after!

What is your favorite winter activity? What is your favorite way to warm up after a cold day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Settle Your Home Anxieties For The Winter

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Settle Your Home Anxieties For The Winter

You needn’t be a high maintenance person to feel stress occupying a home in which cleaning is not the expected standard. For example, if visiting the home or apartment of a friend’s friend, we may feel dismayed to see the bathroom in poor state, or perhaps that their dogs have left hair all over the sofas.

Many of us have caring standards for our homes, even if they might get a little messy from time to time. Thankfully, the anxiety or at least noticeable necessary need for a clean we can see will direct us to careful action. Often, the transfer of the seasons will help us notice this more, as they show our homes in a new light. This is why the bright warmth of spring often gives way to cleaning, to use one example.

Settling your home anxieties for the winter then, as we begin our slow march towards it, could be a great method of ensuring your home is catered for and refined once cold weather strikes. We would like to offer you some worthwhile advice here, and hope it can make a real difference:

Roofing:

Roofing truly does matter. A solid roofer will be able to figure out if you have holes or damages that need attending to, because this could have opened you up to a terrible attic leak, a loss of insulation, or even an infestation of some kind. Settling your home anxieties will often mean caring for your roof first, because the intense coldness of the weather can cause cracks to show, shingles to become damaged, or tiles to become loose. An inspection, therefore, is always a wise idea.

Pavement Care

The pavement outside and leading up to your home (in the form of a patio, garden path, and driveway) can be a real victim of harmful black ice. This can lead to nasty trips, falls, and injuries, especially in the morning when you may still be waking up for your commute. Even if you’re aware of this it can be dangerous, let alone when elderly or younger relatives come to visit or bound from your home in an excitable fashion. We would recommend keeping an eye on this, and purchasing a good amount of gritting material to provide traction should it be a problem.

Weather Debris:

Weather debris is important to consider. From damaged fencing, loose roof tiles, upturned trampolines, and uprooted signs, it’s important to consider your potential weather debris and plan for that. Perhaps if a heavy winter’s snowfall or hailstorm is predicted, then bringing your vehicle into the garage to protect it could be important or putting heavier locks on your doors, or even, in some cases, rooting down exterior belongings that could rise in the weather. This may seem outlandish, but these scenarios do happen, and it’s always best to remain prepared to that degree.

With this advice, you are certain to correctly settle your home anxieties for the winter. Now get some hot chocolate and relax!

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A Few Vacation Pics

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A Few Vacation Pics

Hellooo! I didn’t take too many pictures during my recent family vacation to Asheville, North Carolina but, of course, I took a selfie or two and had my dad snap a few as well. My dad is a great photographer and usually does the majority of the picture taking when we’re on vacation. And, I was so busy enjoying my damn self that I guess I just forgot! Anyways, take a looksee:

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^^^ These pics were all taken at Altapass Orchard.

Now, you might find yourself wondering who that handsome man is in the last person and that is the one and only BILL CARSON. He is the owner and face behind the Altapass Orchard on the Blue Ridge Parkway and he is an absolute delight. The orchard in itself is gorgeous but the real fun happened shortly after we got there and a country trio began to play music in their gift shop.

In the gift shop was a stack of bumper stickers boasting the phrase “Honk if you survived a dance with Bill Carson” and I thought it was hilarious. I had no idea who he was at the time but I did know I wanted that bumper sticker for my car desperately. So, as luck would have it, Bill just so happened to be at the gift shop with his wife to enjoy the music and cut a rug on the dance floor.

And, dance we did. Bill and I shared a lovely hoedown to the country music and it was a complete blast. After our dance, my dad bought me the bumper sticker that I had my eyes on because I earned it, damnit. My family had a riveting chat with Bill afterwards about his life story as a NASA engineer and how his sister and himself came in possession of the Altapass Orchard.

Long story short, Bill’s sister purchased the land which developers were very interested in to build along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was a massive “no no” though and the Carson family refused their offers to buy it. They have since had the land recognized by the National Parks of North Carolina so that it can never be built on and have its vast beauty appreciated forever.

Bill Carson was a joy and I loved learning his story and the hard work that was put in to keeping the Altapass Orchard afloat during the past five years of insufficient crops thanks to climate change. The orchard serves not just as that but as a sort of clubhouse where local music is played and anyone can get up and dance. And, if they’re lucky, they can survive a dance with local celebrity Bill Carson too!

Are there any local celebrities in your neck of the woods? What is your favorite fall activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Three Simple Home Improvement Projects That Increase Market Value

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Three Simple Home Improvement Projects That Increase Market Value

Unless you’re a real estate pro, you might not know how to get the best return on your investment when the time comes to sell your home. For example, did you know that your home could sell for significantly more if you spend a little extra time and money on a few simple improvements? While it may seem counter intuitive to invest money and time into a home you wish to get off your hands, a couple of choice updates and additions to your property could give you a decent return on your investment:

Invest in Exterior Features:

While a home’s exterior features such as the garden, garage, swimming pool, roof, and gutters may seem less important than the interior, ensuring that these features are both operational and attractive to the eye is a great way to add value to your home. Keeping your garden and lawn well maintained will leave a strong impression on any potential buyers who turn up for your viewings.

There may be a lot of work on the exterior of your property that you can do yourself, like painting and cleaning gutters. Larger additions will need to be handled by experts who can ensure that installations are done according to spec. For example, a high-quality water tank can be a strong selling point. Tank Direct is a fantastic option for your water tank requirements. A fresh and well-maintained exterior is a useful way to help a potential buyer imagine the lifestyle their family might enjoy, should they buy the property and move in.

Get Those Repairs Taken Care Of:

While you might imagine that getting your bigger projects done (like a bathroom remodel or retileing the kitchen backsplash) would be more attractive to potential buyers, it’s crucial to put these jobs on hold until any necessary structural repairs have been completed. These will make a tremendous difference when it comes time to put your property on the market. If you don’t, you risk your buyers being too distracted by the leaky ceiling or the odor of mold to even notice the fancy additions like new tiles. Before you get started on those more exciting beautiful additions to your home, make sure you sort out your repairs, whether it’s electrical, plumbing, or structural.

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Update The Heating System:

If you install a modern central-heating system in your house or give the existing system a comprehensive update, you’re almost certainly going to enhance your home’s value. Older properties such as Victorian houses are charming in many ways, but your potential buyer won’t be charmed by a chilly walk down the hallway as they try to imagine their life in their future home.

Some newer homes come equipped with somewhat dated heating systems that don’t provide enough warmth, and can cost a lot to run. Updating the old system should prove highly attractive to a potential buyer. An extra bonus you get when you add a new heating system to your home is that if you don’t end up selling the property right away, you will save money and stay warmer while you wait for the right buyer to come along.

Whether you’re listing your property in the near future or you’re planning to sell one of these days, these updates are sure to boost the value of your house!

Featured Image By: Pexels CC0 Licence

Beautiful Yet Simple Additions To Your Home

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Beautiful Yet Simple Additions To Your Home

A home is not a finished piece. It is always something that is dynamic, that can change, that can be improved depending on your tastes and practical needs. This seems quite obvious to most of us, but it can often be hard to figure out which is the best way forward, and what action might help us towards the best result. Thankfully, these measures are more than possible to consider when we’re reminded of the potential we have available to us.

This is the eternal issue with home renovation – there are simply too many options! Without design cohesion as a careful application, it’s incredibly easy to forget everything and make each room look as though it’s part of an entirely different house. In a home, less is often more. That being said, let us consider how you might better your rooms with a simple addition, speaking of the three most important rooms in the house:

Letting The Outside In:

Often, the best home changes are those that are fundamental to how you view things there. For example, lighting and nature. Painting the walls a lighter shade, bringing in a nice warm light to cover an area of the room, and perhaps placing a potted plant or two can help the room feel much more airy, light, and natural.

Letting the outside in, then, is a natural extension from this. You may decide that the use of sliding doors will help you keep your living room open in the summer, allowing you seamless access to your garden or patio. This can be a perfect means to help you entertain more comfortably or to simply sit within your living area while reading books on cool summer evenings, watching the sunset as it slowly starts to descend. It’s hard to think of anything more peaceful than this.

A Front Door Arch:

There are some who have large pillars outside the front of their house, a grand water feature, or perhaps a huge driveway with trees lining either side to give the home a grand sense of appeal. However, all of this, while impressive, is not necessary for you to upgrade how your home exterior looks. In fact, something as simple as a new front door arch can be a great idea.

Using brickwork to trace the arch pattern, you may fill the heightened gap with stained glass or something else adhering to your tastes. Not only can this arch look incredibly beautiful, but said extra lighting can bring some true vibrancy to your entrance corridor. It’s a simple measure that can often look quite incredible, as well as replacing the front door to a heavy, potentially even custom wooden design to keep you safe and secure always.

Faux Ceiling Beams:

If you have high ceilings in your property, it can look as if there’s plenty of blank space high up there with no decoration to show. But, fear not, because there are measures of giving this large blank space a bit of personality and a whole load of texture. Faux ceiling beams can be a part of this. Installation, professionally done, can help a room gain so much more character and look as if the exposed wooden construction of your home is more handcrafted and a little less formulaic than it might be compared to homes on your street.

The Fireplace:

A fireplace can turn a cold and unwelcoming room into a space that invites you in to lounge on the rug with your pets. It’s quite the stark difference, particularly in the winter and in the larger rooms. Of course, a fireplace is dictated by where the ventilation such as a chimney is located in your home. However, these days it’s not uncommon for fireplaces to be blocked up and snuffed in order to prevent water build up or issues with the weather.

But what if you chose to improve this space the best way you know how? By reinventing the fireplace bringing in a new wood-burning stove, or even a false unit that provides heat depending on your home setup and desires? A fireplace can help you enjoy a lovely sense of comfort – and it can really tie a room together.

Decluttering:

Sometimes, the best addition is a subtraction. Decluttering your home is a great means of helping it gain some renewed life. For example, do you have plates on your wall, hung as decorations? If this is just to fill space, then why keep it? Do you have a floor rug that you almost trip on every time? How about a spinning wheel in the corner of the room that is always being knocked over by your kids? Of course, we’re not here to dictate your tastes at all, nor to make you feel that you have to somehow prove yourself in order to decorate how you want. And yet, simply feeling okay with throwing something out, storing it, or selling it on can help you avoid cluttering your home for no reason.

Keeping things simple is the name of the game. Administer these changes and be amazed at the fresh new take it will have on your home!

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5 Things That’ll Disrupt Your Property’s Homely Factor

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5 Things That’ll Disrupt Your Property’s Homely Factor

Our homes are so much more than simply places to lay our heads at night and store our stuff. They’re where we create memories, feel safe, and feel the love. Or, at least, that’s the idea – the aim is to have a property that feels homey. It should feel like ours, the place where we long to be. And it should feel that way from the moment we pull up to the driveway. Alas, this won’t happen all on its own. We have to work for it, because there are some things that’ll disrupt the homely vibe you’re trying to create. Below, we take a look at five things that’ll do just that:

No Curb Appeal:

You don’t want to pull up to your home after a long day at work and think, “oh, this is my house…” You want to think, “this is my house!” The difference could be in the property’s curb appeal. They say you should start as you mean to go on, and if your front yard is well kept and all-around lovely, then you’ll get those warm feelings as soon as you arrive.

Unwelcome Guests:

You’d feel a little uncomfortable if a stranger was living in your home, wouldn’t you? Yet actually, many of us have unwelcome guests in our homes, and they seriously compromise the homely nature of our properties. It’s imperative that every living being at your property is invited to live there. Bugs? Wasps? Bees? You surely didn’t invite them, so get rid of them. And it’s not just the feeling of insects in your home that’s the issue – they can also cause damage: you can learn more at animalcontrolspecialists.com. While prevention is the best way to keep them out of your home, there are effective ways to get rid of them once they’ve made themselves comfortable.

Poor Lighting:

You could work on making your home’s interior beautiful and well decorated and all the rest of it, but if the lighting isn’t right, then it won’t be as homely as it could be. Homeliness is all about feeling comfortable and relaxed, and you’ll find that difficult if there are forever bright lights shining into your eyes. So switch them out for atmospheric side lighting – it’ll help you and your family feel much more relaxed.

Unkempt Corners:

It’s awesome to own a property, but let’s be realistic too – it can be hard work. But it has to be done. You’ll feel ill at ease in your property if there are damaged corners and the dirt is piling up. Make a habit of staying on top of your DIY tasks, and stick to a weekly cleaning schedule.

Lack of Comfort:

Finally, how are your comfort levels? It’s sometimes worth upgrading your couch, bedding, and towels just for the noticeable improvement in comfort that they bring. You’ll feel the difference, especially in the winter, when your home is a pleasant and warm retreat from the chill of the outdoors. Add some hot chocolate, and you’ll be good to go!

Fix up the five points above and turn your house into the homeliest home on the block!

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4 Overlooked Tips For Being At Your Best Each Day

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4 Overlooked Tips For Being At Your Best Each Day

Life has a habit of beating us down. The list of responsibilities and chores just seem to stack up and up, and there’s rarely anything that effortlessly comes along to relieve us. However, just because life will naturally move that way if we let it, it’s not like we have to accept it, and we definitely don’t need to let it have a negative impact on our lives. There are things we can do to push us in a positive direction, each and every day. Below, we take a look at four helpful, yet often overlooked, actions that’ll make your day better:

Start the Day Right:

You’ve got to start the day as you mean to go on. If you have a terrible beginning, then it’s much more likely that things will continue to go in the same direction. On the other hand, if you take steps to make sure that your day begins well, in peace and tranquility, then you’ll be ready to step up the moment you walk out of the front door. So what does this look like exactly? It’s about not being in a rush. If you wake up early, go for a short run, take a cold shower, and then have a leisurely breakfast, you’ll find that you’re on Cloud Nine, and all before 9 AM.

Look Your Best:

If we’re going to be at our best, then we need to be confident, and if we’re going to be confident, then we need to look and feel our best. There’s real value in putting together a routine that leads towards looking your best! Take a look at hair and makeup routines, for example, and choose the ones that are suitable for you – and which you can do each morning. On the wardrobe front, it’s all about those stylish and comfortable tops for women. With a new and improved rack of clothing, hairstyle, and makeup routine, you’ll walk out of the front door confident and ready to take on the day.

Make the Commute Fun:

It’s understandable that people grow tired of the boring old routine when they have such a soul-destroying commute to the office. However, who says that the commute needs to be quite as miserable as everyone says it is? This is one of many areas where it’s better to do your own thing, rather than follow the crowd. Make the most of your time by yourself! You can listen to podcasts, sing, talk with friends, or anything else, and why not? If it’s bumper to bumper traffic that’s bringing you down, then look to see if there’s an alternative route. Even if it takes a little longer, you’ll enjoy it much more if it’s a scenic journey and there are far fewer cars.

Get Outside:

Finally, make sure you’re spending some time outdoors. Studies have shown that being in nature gives us a natural happiness boost. It’ll also provide a little breathing room between your state of mind and whatever is trying to push it down.

Every day isn’t going to be perfect, but these simple tips above can certainly make them a little better!

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