How to Bring the Outdoors Into Your Home

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Bringing the outside, into your home is a great interior design choice, and can have so many other positive effects on your life. There are loads of way you can take interior design inspiration from nature, and the great outdoors, and use it in your home. You can do this by introducing plants, using certain patterns or textures, or even Using actual pieces from the outdoors to create that effect.

There is loads of inspiration online, so whatever you style, or whatever you want to utilise, there will be loads of inspiration online for you to use. Read on to find out how you can use this to create great effects in your home, and bring the outdoors into your home. There are so many cases of this improving your home environment, and people feeling more positive and relaxed, just because of how they design their home. What have you got to lose? Considering your interior design choices can have such a positive effects on both you and your loved ones. Read on to find out how you can use the outdoors in your home, it is much easier than you think.

 

The Forest

The forest is an amazing place, and it is super easy and simple to bring this element of nature into your home. This can be done in lots of ways, the most simplest being using wood. This can be anything from wooden floorboards, to give a rustic look to your home, or even using wooden furniture can have the same effect. The older the wooden furniture, the better the look, but be careful how natural material deteriorate over time. Most modern products, like Corndell furniture are super durable and greta to have around the home, but keep this in mind when thinking about purchasing vintage pieces!

 

Plants

Plants are a great thing to have about the home, not only to create more oxygen for you to breath in, but can be useful. Why not consider keeping some potted herbs in the kitchen, which can also be a fresh and flavoursome addition to your cooking in the evening. Just keep them on your kitchen window sill, and water them occasionally, and you will have a great addition to your cooking. There are also loads of kind of plants which thrive specifically in the home, so whatever your preference there is a plant out there for you. If you want something low maintenance there are always cacti which will thrive when the heating on, and you can forget about watering the for a month or two. They can be a great addition to any desk, and hopefully will help your be productive when at it!

Whatever your current interior design style, bringing the outside inside is simple an easy thing to do. You can do anything from bringing wood, or natural textures into your home, or even introduce plants as well. Whatever kind of plants you want, whether colourful or low maintenance, there is plenty of choice out there for you.

*This is a collaborative post

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4 Ways You Can Get Happier Today!

 

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How do we pursue happiness?

It’s an honest question. In today’s increasingly fast paced and impersonal society, I’d argue that we’ve lost sight of the things that matter. We’ve been conditioned to attribute happiness to the attainment of career goals, the acquisition of money and the accumulation of lots and lots and lots of stuff. These aspirational targets may help to grease the wheels of a consumer capitalist society, but how effective are they at delivering on actual, meaningful happiness. We’re trained to believe that happiness is just a promotion, a purchase or a pay rise away, and while the odd shopping binge can give us a fleeting high, the acquisition of possessions rarely brings us lasting happiness. Indeed, it can often feel like the things we own wind up owning us. There must be a reason why so many lottery winners and successful entrepreneurs wind up miserable. Indeed Jim Carrey famously once said “I think everyone should get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer”. While there’s no secret formula for happiness, there are a few little things that you can do to help yourself today, right now

 

Get out of your routine

What do you plan to do after work today? Drive home, make dinner, watch TV, sleep? Becoming embroiled in these routines can easily sap our enjoyment of our lives. Do something different. Go for a long walk. Sit in a cafe and read a book. Go to the cinema. Deviate from the old routine until it stops becoming a routine.

 

Meditate

Meditation may be outside of your comfort zone and you may even have some derisive opinions of it, or doubt its efficacy, but it is nonetheless scientifically proven to promote happiness. Meditation not only helps you to gain perspective on the minutia of our day to day lives, it also actually shrinks the amygdala; the part of the brain responsible for anxiety and fear. It also lowers the production of the stress hormone cortisol not only improving your happiness but helping you to lose weight too!  

 

Have a nap

Far too few of us get enough sleep, and this can be detrimental to our quality of life in numerous ways. Sleep allows us to repair our bodies, rest our minds, release waste matter from our brains and get the nutrients to our skin to keep mit looking young, clear plump and firm. Yet, too many of us see sleep as a waste of time to be gotten out of the way. If you spend too many nights watching films instead of sleeping you may need to get a new mattress. Check out this Eve mattress review. You’d be astonished at how much more rested and happy you can be after a great night’s sleep.

 

Purge your stuff

If something brings you joy, then keep it. If you find value in something, keep it. But if you find your home cluttered by stuff that has ceased to have any meaning for you, it’s time for a purge. Collect it all together and take it to the nearest charity shop. The lack of clutter and knowledge that you’re doing some good is bound to brighten your day.

*This is a collaborative post

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Top Picks #53

 

1.Jumper, £45 – Yumi*

I remember Yumi did a very similar jumper a few years ago. I coveted it then and once again I want one. Though I still prefer it without the camera straps.

2. Necklace, £19.50 – Eclectic Eccentricity

Love this so much.

3. Jumper, £38 – Oasis*

Of course it’s another striped jumper but this one has cute little bows on the hips. A fun twist on a classic.

4. Top, £25 – Joanie*

Joanie really need to stop doing this to me. First the dinosaur striped tee I wrote about here and now this.

5. Earrings, £19.42 – Jamber Jewels @ Etsy*

Since a lot of my earring collection is past it’s best – I’m on the hunt for suitable replacements. This pair of mismatched earrings is simple but quirky.

6. Bookends, $69 – Modcloth*

I don’t really have a need for bookends, at least not at the moment but there was just something about these. They remind me of the Golden Gate Bridge and Topher’s and my honeymoon.

7. Necklace, £12.50 – Eclectic Eccentricity

I could stare at this necklace all day; it’s just so pretty. I’ve always had a fascination with the moon so this accessory would definitely fit right into my look.

8. Swimsuit, £60 – Boden*

So first of all, it’s nowhere near swimsuit season. And second of all – I rarely go swimming. Finally third, I’m happy with the swimsuit I have. However you can’t deny how awesome this one is. It looks like something a 1950s bombshell would wear. Plus it comes in loads of patterns and I want them all.

9. T-shirt, £18.67 – Redbubble

I’ve fallen in love with Redbubble over the last couple of months. It’s the perfect place for gifts as you can really niche it to what you’re interested in. Great for my nerdy crew and I. I’ve found loads of Disney, Harry Potter and other stuff but this t-shirt was just so cool. I feel more at home in t-shirts these days so this is ideal.

10. Dress, $89 – Modcloth*

Again, summer is a long way off but this dress looks like the perfect thing to see out those too warm days. Because there were a lot of them last year! I don’t know why everyone is so shocked every time summer eventually arrives – we do get good weather sometimes on our little island.

What’s on your wish list this week?

Items marked with * are affiliate links. This means I get a small commission for every purchase made with no extra cost to you. 

 

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Bake with a Legend – Baking Bread with Paul Jagger

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I’m a good cook but when it comes to baking and desserts I’m a bit of a jinx.

Nothing seems to go right – the worst thing being the Bailey’s cheesecake that Topher refused to eat after one bite. So when I got the opportunity from Bake with a Legend to attend a cooking class, I jumped at the chance.

bake with a legend - paul

Photo courtesy of Bake with a Legend

Bake with a Legend is a series of cooking class that takes place across the UK and lets you learn from the greats. The class I attended was in Manchester and would be learning to bake bread with Paul Jagger from GBBO 2015.

I didn’t start watching Great British Bakeoff until 2016, the year after Paul’s round, but after immediately falling in love with the show I found the previous seasons online and binged. I was happy to hear that it was both Paul and we’d be making bread as I still remembered his amazing lion he made. If you haven’t seen it, just google “Paul Jagger Bread Lion”. Even Paul Hollywood said it was one of the best things he’s seen in bread ever!

bake with a legend - garlic

Our three hour class (which included a glass of fizz and snacks) was an informal affair where we learned how to make grissini sticks and Asian inspired garlic bread.

bake with a legend - mixing bowl

bake with a legend - paul jagger

I really enjoyed the format of the class.

Paul would show us a few steps and then we would go to our work benches and try it ourselves before going back to him where he would then do the next bit. Being able to do things piece by piece left little room for error and I didn’t feel like I was rushed at all. This was particularly useful being a blogger and having to take a million photos during the whole class.

bake with a legend - rosemary

bake with a legend - prove

Paul was a great teacher and very down to earth. Everything was explained in detail and he took great care in making sure we were all up to speed. This may have included saving my dough when I messed up… Bit of advice, just use one hand to knead a sticky dough – don’t stick both hands in like a pillock!

bake with a legend - dough

bake with a legend - tray

While our bakes were in the oven, we got to sit down with Paul and ask him questions. It was so interesting to find out about the audition process behind GBBO and what really goes on during filming. Luckily during this time, the helpful staff were keeping an eye on all our ovens to make sure nothing burned!

bake with a legend - garlic bread filling

bake with a legend - finished grissini sticks

I was amazed to find that both my grissini sticks and my garlic bread came out looking perfect! We were given bags to take everything home and I felt so proud showing Topher all of it. He was astonished that I had made them and the filled garlic breads made for a delicious lunch.

bake with a legend - filled garlic bread

bake with a legend - me and paul

Bake with a Legend costs £99 for a single person and £175 for a pair and I would definitely say that it is worth the money. It’s great for birthdays, hen & stag parties and couples too. The couple sharing our bench were gifted the class for Christmas from their children and it makes me think about doing the same for my parents. They both enjoy cooking and it would make a change from the same old gifts I get them every year.

It’s something I would bring Topher to in the future too – there was another couple there that day and I think it’s such a good idea for a date day!

bake with a legend

Photo courtesy of Bake with a Legend

I had a brilliant day with Paul, the other bakers and the Bake with a Legend crew and look forward to getting back into the kitchen again. Thanks Bake with a Legend!

*My place in this cooking class was free of charge but as always, my opinions and words are my own. 

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5 Ways To Create Space In A Small Room

It doesn’t take long for a small space to feel cramped. It can be hard to decorate a small room, let alone making it feel more open and spacious. Thanks to the internet, people have been able to come up with some great ideas for transforming their small spaces and making them feel bigger.

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Got a space you’d like to transform? Here are five ways you can create space in a small room.

 

1. Find as much light as you can

Small rooms can feel dark, particularly if there’s a lack of natural light coming in. Small rooms mean less space for windows, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create light in a smaller space. Start by painting your room a light shade – white and pale greys are very popular at the moment. You can add some colour through your home accessories, but having plenty of light areas will create the illusion of space. Instead of using warm light bulbs, opt for those that mimic daylight instead – it will make your room feel much brighter.

 

2. Choose your furniture wisely

The furniture you choose can make all the difference to how your room looks. If you pick pieces that are too large, you’re soon going to find your room cramped. Be clever with your living room furniture pieces. Items that have some space underneath for storage or will fit in the corners of your room will maximise your floor space and give you a much neater looking room. Try not to pick fussy patterns and go for block colours instead.

 

3. Create zones

You can help create more space in your home by creating ‘zones’ that give different parts of your living space a different purpose. If you have a home office, for example, make sure that’s one zone in your living area. You can have zones for storage, zones for things that you like to do such as reading and anything else that will help to keep your home organised. Having zones will help improve your layout and make it easier to keep rooms clutter-free.

 

4. Use shelving

Shelving is a useful tool in small rooms, helping to move things off the floor and making the most of wall space instead. Design your shelving so that you can put storage boxes and other items on them (think lamps and other home accessories), they can be a real space saver and affordable addition to your home.

 

5. Mirror mirror on the wall

Mirrors are ideal for making rooms appear larger than they are, so if you want an easy way of creating space, then you should add some mirrors to your walls. Big wall or leaning mirrors have a better effect than small mirrors, and you can pick up some great bargains online if you know where to look.

 

Creating space in a small room isn’t easy, but if you’re clever about it, you can drastically turn things around. This living room mood board has some great ideas for stylish living room decor that you can adapt to fit the size of your room. They say that the best things come in small packages, so learn to make the most of your smaller living space.

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