Tag Archives: outside

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

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

Perfect Your Home Exterior With These 5 Tips

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Perfect Your Home Exterior With These 5 Tips

As a proud homeowner, you’re going to want your home to not only look the best it possibly can but function the best, too. Whether you’re working on your home on a budget or have lots to spend, you’re going to be someone who takes real pride in their abode.

One of the most significant aspects of a home is the entryway and how you feel when walking up to the property for the first time. While it may not seem like a big deal initially, it’s actually something that your brain works on unconsciously. Have you ever been to a new friend or acquaintance’s house and felt a little nervous? You become a lot less so when you see a wonderful exterior and a welcoming entryway, don’t you?

If you’re hoping to possess a wonderful outside, then the work will have to be put in. Here are five aspects that you should definitely do a little work on:

The Driveway:

The first thing you encounter when you enter a home is the driveway. Plenty of people leave this alone for years and it really shows. It looks as though it’s about fifty years old! A simple blast with a pressure washer can take decades off of its looks. Think about adding a few borders and maybe some lights for a pleasant aesthetic.

The Roof:

The roof is a part of the home that doesn’t seem like it needs work. This is, until you see what it looks like after the work has taken place. If you bring in insurance roofers for any problems you might have or you do a little work on it yourself, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how fresh you can make the top of your house look.

Front Door:

The front door is a significant part of the welcoming vibes you’re going to experience. It’s, again, not something that people initially think of, but it can have a huge impact on the aesthetics. If your home has a beautiful door, then those who walk up to your place will be in awe of the looks. There are plenty of front door ideas online and you can find so much inspiration from home improvement blogs such as this one!

The Bricks And Mortar:

Very much like the driveway, the actual house itself can look weathered very easily. This is, again, a case of spraying the dirt and age off the side if you have a few minutes. Painting the windows and guttering will also do so much for the looks. It can go from being an old, tattered home to a loved and cherished one with a bit of elbow grease!

Any Greenery You Might Have:

Whenever a home has lots of grass, plants, flowers, trees, and anything relating to vegetation, things always look and feel a little brighter. If you have a front yard to work on, then do it to the best of your ability. The effect a lovely garden can have is astonishing – it can make the entire place look brighter and more beautiful. Even those with little gardening knowledge can appreciate a pretty garden.

Give your guests and neighbors a great first impression of your home by improving its exterior!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

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

The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

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The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

It feels like it’s been a long and cold winter. Indeed, it probably feels even longer and colder than it has been because fun and good times have been in short supply thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other global issues. However, if there’s one thing that we should all remember, it’s that winter doesn’t last forever. In the not too distant future, we’ll all be able to enjoy all of the pleasures that can come from spending time in the sunshine with friends and family.

And what’s the best way to enjoy these moments? By having a BBQ! In this post, we’ll run through some tried and tested tips that will make you the host with the most:

Prepare‌ ‌the‌ ‌Yard‌:

The food will take center stage, but it’s important to remember that the yard will provide the backdrop for the BBQ. As such, it’s worthwhile getting it into shape beforehand. There are numerous ways to do this. A little bit of landscaping will go a long way, so there’s no need to go overboard and create an oasis (unless you want to). The most important aspect will be to have plenty of comfortable seating options and, if possible, to make the yard feel private.

Simple‌ ‌and‌ ‌Delicious‌ ‌Recipes‌:

People are going to judge the quality of the BBQ by the overall atmosphere of the day, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the quality of the food is important, too. The good thing about BBQs is that even the simple classics will do the trick. Hamburgers and hot dogs are the way to go! Just make sure that it’s high-quality meat. Don’t forget dessert, too; there are plenty of easy fruit salad recipes that are perfect for summer afternoons. If you don’t want to be responsible for all the food, then you can ask your guests to bring some with them – if everyone brings something small, then everyone will eat well.

Remember the Drinks:

What’s a BBQ without drinks? All meals should have drinks by their side, but it becomes even more important for BBQs since it’s usually so hot out. While you can provide the basics, such as soda, beer, and wine, it’s also fun to push the boat out a little. Could you make some homemade lemonade or create a cocktail station where people can make their own colorful and delicious drinks?

Bring the Music:

BBQs are all about sinking into all of the good times that summer can bring. So do your best to create a fun and light atmosphere, one that allows people to escape the worries of everyday life. The best ways to do this are to play a killer summer playlist and to provide some games. If you’ve got some reggae or otherwise good-vibe music on the stereo, and people can play twister or other fun yard games, then your BBQ will be a hit.

Enjoy the weather, food, and good company with the tips above to make your BBQ the best on the block!

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

Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

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Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

There’s just something about the combination of spring cleaning and the improved weather that turns the “curl up and relax” mentality of winter completely on its head. When the sun comes out, it puts a renewed pep in our step and I’m sure many of us have been thinking about home improvement projects both big and small that can be worked on during the warm weather.

If you’re experiencing the “get up and go” attitude of spring but nothing immediately comes to mind, consider the following projects:

Windows & Doors:

Replacing old windows and doors will give a welcome facelift to both the interior and exterior of your home. A bold front door is a must and if you get new replacement windows, then it is all the better to let the sunshine in with. New windows and doors are also an instant curb appeal booster so it will raise your property value! If you’d like to take this idea one step further, you could even turn one of the rooms into a sun room with floor length windows. A bright, sunny room will be a nice change of pace after the darkness of winter.

Backyard Fun:

It’s safe to say that absolutely everyone will be outside as often as they can in the warm weather so make sure your backyard is well equipped. This could mean arranging a patio area or a deck for social distanced hang outs or preparing your barbecue pit for the season. If you enjoy woodworking you might want to try your hand at making and decorating cornhole boards for tournaments. Don’t forget a net for volleyball and badminton!

Of course, if you want your backyard to be the ultimate place to hang out this summer, you will want it to look its best. Flowers, gardens, soft green grass to play on, and solar lights and other decor are all great places to start. Remember, a well kept outer property will only help boost your curb appeal so don’t be afraid to go all out with your gardening.

Nature Window:

Creating a nature window ties the two ideas above together for an activity you can enjoy inside. Outside of a large window place bird feeders, baths, and houses, hummingbird and butterfly feeders, butterfly bushes, and insect condos. Basically, anything that will help attract local wildlife. You will have the perfect view of all of the birds flying in and out and all from the comfort of the air conditioning! Not to mention that all of the animals will thank you. 🙂

Don’t let your get up and go energy get up and leave! Try out some of the projects above to welcome back the warm weather.