LIFESTYLE: ADDING A TOUCH OF NATURE TO YOUR HOME

Who doesn’t love to take a trip into the great outdoors? There’s nothing better than being surrounded by trees, beautiful views, fresh air, and, essentially, life. Yet while most of us enjoy being in the great outdoors, we don’t always get as much of it as we’d like -- instead, we spend the bulk of our time away not only from nature, but the outdoors. From our works to our cars to our homes, we’re nearly always inside. However, just because we like or need to be inside, that doesn’t mean that we can’t get a dose of nature, especially in our homes. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can bring some of the outdoors into your property.




Source: Pexels.com


Let There Be Light


The reason we feel so disconnected from the natural world is because we’re always facing inward. In our home, we’re penned in four walls, and sit facing away from the windows, which, in any case, are often small. During certain months of the year, or if we live in a built-up area, the only light we receive is artificial. But it doesn’t it have to be this way. One of the best ways to make your home feel more natural is to open the space up, and let in as much light as possible.


Into the Outdoors


Another useful way to add a touch of nature to your home is to make less of a distinction between where home ends and nature begins. Incorporate French doors into your property, and you’ll have created a funnel that draws you into your back garden. It might seem like a small thing, but you’ll find that you’re more likely to spend time in your yard area if there’s only a pane of glass keeping it at bay.


Natural Features


Who says that natural features only belong in the great outdoors? You can bring them into your home, in various ways. For example, you can get a fire that burns real wood from https://ultimatefires.com.au; it’ll invoke those lovely evenings spent around the campfire when you take a trip into the great outdoors. Elsewhere, you can make the most of natural textures such as wood and stone. A distressed wood table, for instance, will give off that outdoor country vibe, while a stone kitchen countertop will give your home that elemental feel.


Plants and Veg


One of the best, most effective, most sweet smelling ways to bring nature into your home is to add things that grow freely in nature, such as flowers, plants, and vegetables, which you can keep on display in your kitchen. The flowers and plants are particularly recommended -- studies have shown that they’re able to boost our mood.


Decorations


Finally, take a look at incorporating nature into the decorations that you have around your home. Pinecones, jars of pebbles and sand, and other items you can find on your country walks will all work well, as will adding works of art that have a nature theme.

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OUTFIT POST: LEOPARD PRINT MIDI SKIRT

SKIRT: BOOHOO // JACKET: NEW LOOK // TOP: NEW LOOK // BOOTS: 


We headed into Birmingham today for lunch at Bodega, see my full review here...  Afterwards we went to Cannon Hill Park and took Amelia to the Wildlife Center and then visited my nan's grave before heading over to see my Grandad so busy day!

I thought i'd wear my new leopard print skirt from Boohoo! I've been loving my polka dot midi skirt from Primark and really wanted to get another one that was similar. I spotted this one on Boohoo and thought it would be perfect as it's petite and i'm quite short and sometimes find midi length things a little too long. It was an absolute bargain too, only £13.50 so I just had to get it!

It was a little nippy so I popped my leather jacket on and kept it simple with a little Black top and my Black boots. I think the skirt would look so good with a cute slogan tee or even with a jumper tucked in.

Clint and I are both off for the rest of the week so I'm hoping to have another outfit post up later in the week!






FOOD: BODEGA CANTINA BIRMINGHAM REVIEW

  
[ *GIFTED- this meal was complementary] 

Today we headed into Birmingham for lunch at Bodega Cantina to check out their menu refresh! Bodega is South American inspired cuisine. 

'The menus are created using original ideas, authentic recipes and inspiration from the team’s vast South American travels (feel free to ask us about them!)'- from Bodega website 

Bodega have a great menu with loads of choice, they offer a street menu, small plates and large plates so there is something for everyone no matter how hungry you are! The menu is really clear and they are great when it comes to allergies, they actually ask you when they seat you if you have any allergies which is amazing! 

I ordered the Dr. Pepper marinated pork Quesadillas, they were soo tasty! We also ordered a side of Nachos- They are the best Nachos i've ever had! They come with loads of salsa, guacamole and sour cream and are topped with Jalapenos. Clint went for the Chipotle beef brisket chilli burrito, it looked really good, it was filled to the brim. He had it hot! and said it was delicious! 

You can actually order from the street menu like us or the small plate section during the week and get your main and a drink for just £7! It's such a great deal if you out in Birmingham during the weekdays. 

The new menu is amazing and full of loads of really tasty sounding food, I think we will be heading back really soon to try a few more dishes. I love the sound of Bodega’s Burger a la Parilla and Peruvian Seco de Pollo, so need to check them out. 

I think their prices are really reasonable and the food is sooo tasty and great quality. If your looking for somewhere new in Birmingham to eat and you haven't tried Bodega before i'd really recommend checking it out. 

They also have a great kids menu with loads of choice and it includes a side, drink and desert for £5.95 and sometimes they do offers during the kids holidays so check that out too!

Bodega also have a really impressive drinks menu full of beers, cocktails and spirits. I had the Hummingbird mocktail, it's amazing! I'd love to go along on an evening and give some of their alcoholic cocktails a try too!

The atmosphere was lovely and all of the staff were really friendly. We had such a lovely time and would really recommend it to everyone, people with or without kids. It's the perfect place for lunch with the family, a few drinks after work or even dinner and drinks on date night! 


















OUTFIT POST: DAY OUT IN STRATFORD UPON AVON


JUMPER: FEMME LUXE FINERY *(GIFTED) // SKIRT: PRIMARK //  BOOTS: ROCKETDOG *(GIFTED)

We visited Stratford Upon Avon today to go to The Butterfly Farm. It was a gorgeous sunny day, a little bit nippy but I was so comfy and cosy in my new Femme Luxe Finery  jumper. It's this gorgeous bright mustard colour! I love it! It looks fab with my new skirt from Primark. It's a midi length pleated skirt with monochrome print. 

We loved the Butterfly Farm, Amelia really enjoyed it. We then had a spot of lunch and a walk along the river. We had a game of mini golf - I won!! Then sat on the grass and made the most of the weather! I'm super excited for summer but loving cooler days like today where I can still wear a comfy cosy jumper but don't need a coat and can have my legs out! 



How have you spent your weekend? 











LIFESTYLE: PUT YOURSELF FURTHER WITH THESE TRAVEL ADVENTURES


When we think of travelling, we often only think about going somewhere with gorgeous weather so that we can spend our time relaxing on the beach. It doesn’t always have to be like that, though. If you want to be a bit more active, there are plenty of different ways to enjoy your time travelling. In fact, you might want to see how far you can push yourself by taking part in one of these epic travel adventures!

Go On An Epic Cycling Challenge

If you want to ensure you get plenty of exercise still when you are on holiday, you could always go on a cycling trip. There are lots of cycling routes that go across central Europe, but if you would rather do one closer to home, why not attempt to cycle the length of the country? You can start at John O’Groats in Scotland and end up in Land’s End in Cornwall. Do you want to know how far is it from Land’s End to John O’Groats? Well, it’s quite far, but biking it will certainly be quicker than walking. Plus, you will feel like you have really achieved something at the end!


Climb A Mountain

Lots of people see climbing a mountain as a very worthy challenge, and this may be one travel adventure that you have set your eyes on. There are a few mountains to choose from. If you want an epic adventure, then you could fly out to the likes of Everest or Kilimanjaro. If they sound way too challenging, there are still some impressive ones to climb in Britain as well. Snowdon in Wales and Scafell Pike in North Yorkshire are two examples.

Try Solo Travel

For some people, going on holiday on their own is a big enough challenge. This can take a lot of self-confidence, but it will be very worth it indeed. You will be able to do exactly what you want to do, and won’t have to compromise to please anyone else. Not only that, though, but many solo travellers find that their confidence is given a big boost when they do spend time away on their own.




A post shared by Christianne Risman (@christiannerisman) on

Go Trekking

Another great activity to try when you are travelling the world is trekking. This is just like hiking but on a whole other level! You will be trekking over some difficult terrain, such as over desert and through rainforest. But it goes without saying that you will see some truly spectacular sights and landscapes!

Horseback Riding

If all of the above sound a little too active for you, you could always try out horseback riding. That way, you can see some equally fantastic landscapes, but you won’t have to worry about all the physical exertion! There is no better place to try horseback riding than in the regions that were known for America’s Wild West. Once you are there, you’ll be able to experience life as a cowboy and will have plenty of chances to go out on the horses.

Which adventure will you pick?



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LIFESTYLE: CARING FOR YOUR FIRST HOME


When you move into your first home it can be easy to get wrapped up in your new life and forget about some of the routine maintenance that you need to do to keep your home in good condition.

Boilers

As soon as you move in you should check your boiler.  You can never be certain when the boiler was last serviced, and even if you are only using it for hot water, it could be dangerous if it needs attention.  It is not explosions you should be concerned about, but carbon monoxide poisoning. This problem kills people in the UK every year, so get the boiler serviced straight away by a qualified engineer. Then make sure it is done again at the same time every year.

Seal The Window Frames

Buy some window sealant and reseal all the frames. It does not need much of a hole in the existing sealant for water to seep into your home. There are different types available and you need to ensure you but the right one for your type of windows, but in the long run, this job that takes just a few minutes for each window, could save you a lot of hassle.


Check Out The Conservatory

If your first home has a conservatory you need to check the condition of it. They are a great addition to any home, adding another very useful room. However, they can lose a lot of heat in the winter because of the amount of glass and get too hot to use in the summer for the same reason. The answer to this problem could be a thermal conservatory ceiling, just like the ones at Rundle and Dorey. This would make the conservatory useable all year round and then you will feel the benefit of the extra space.

Clean The Gutters

Unless you have a pair of ladders when you are viewing a property, it is not always possible to look at the state of the gutters. This is quite a simple job to do but can save you getting watermarks on the outside and inside of your new home.

Often, wearing a pair of rubber gloves and pulling any debris out is enough, but if there is a lot, you may find a trowel helps. Then run some water through them with a hose. Not a great deal is needed, just enough for you to see if the gutters are leaking anywhere. If they are, get them repaired before they can cause any damage.

This is another job you should do every year and possibly twice a year if there are a lot of trees in the location you live.

Touch Up The Paintwork

Paintwork that is peeling does not only look shabby, it means the paint is not providing the protection to the wood underneath that it should. Any areas that are small just sand, prime and paint, but if there is a large area, it is probably worth doing the whole affected wall.

Routine maintenance does not have to take a lot of time or cost a fortune, but can save you both of those things if you keep your property up to scratch.

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LIFESTYLE: THE 3 SECRETS TO STYLING YOUR HOME WITH SOFT FURNISHINGS

There’s no denying that soft furnishings can help elevate the look and feel of a room in an instant - but how do you style these accessories? For the inside intel on how to incorporate soft furnishings into your home, keep reading.

Gold-painted French bed


1. Step up your game by throwing a few cushions into the mix

Did you know that cushions can help enhance almost any space in your home? So, if you’re keen to really step up your interior game, you might want to think about introducing these soft furnishings to your rooms. For example, you could turn your sofa into a comfy, cosy haven by throwing a few fluffy cushions into the mix, or create the ultimate sleep sanctuary by scattering some snuggly versions on your bed.


The good news is, you can purchase cushions in just about any shape, size and colour, so you shouldn’t struggle to find accessories that complement your decor theme. For instance, Crown French Furniture offer a wide selection of cushions in a variety of prints and materials, from sophisticated plain, silk designs to versions with cute checkered, tweed covers.


2. Create a focal point with an interesting rug

If you have a room in your home that feels like it’s missing something, why not add a rug? Adding one of these to your floor is the perfect way to add depth and warmth to any space. Whether you lay one down in front of your fireplace or in the middle of your bedroom, rugs can also help serve as a focal point for the room - especially if you go for one with an interesting design or a bright, vibrant colour.

A rug can also help revive a less-than-perfect floor. For example, if you have hardwood floors that are looking a little shabby, a rug can help deflect from this, and in turn, totally change up way you perceive the entire room.


3. Add an element of luxury with an elegant throw

To create a space that exudes luxury and sophistication, you can’t go wrong with an elegant throw. These soft furnishings allow you to add texture to any room, whether you drape one over the arm of a chair in your living room or you add one to the foot of your bed, making the area look and feel more cosy and inviting in an instant. From intricately detailed fine-knit styles to sumptuous faux fur designs, you won’t struggle to find a throw that perfectly suits the intended space.



How do you style your home with soft furnishings? Share your tips in the comments below!







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LIFESTYLE: MAKE YOUR HOME FRESH FOR SPRING


When it comes to modern homes and a modern style of design there is one overarching theme which seems to be played out throughout any space- space. It is so important for modern style homes to give off that feeling of luxury and spaciousness even if they are a tiny apartment in London. Today we are going to have a look at some of the ways you can create space and a modern style in your home to make it feel up to date.


Go big or go home

When you remove your smaller ornaments to declutter the shelves and bring space back into the home, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any personality on your shelves and on the walls. When it comes to contemporary design there is a rule known as the cantaloupe rule, which says that any decoration in the home should be bigger than a cantaloupe. The reason for this is that big pieces make a statement and they look less cluttered than lots of small pieces.

Add more light


Light is the absolute essential if you plan on making your home feel modern and spacious. Natural light is wonderful and it makes a home feel bright and much more happy than a small dark space. If you don’t have the best windows in your home at the moment now is the time to get busy and update the windows to make them feel more in keeping with the rest of the house. Light can also be added with cool white light bulbs around the home as well as decorative lights such as lamps and fairy lights.


Use polished concrete

If you want to update the home to feel more open and modern there is one place in particular which you will need to make some changes: the floor. Even though you might not realise it, your flooring has a massive impact on the way your home looks and feels and it can lead to the home feeling old and small depending on the type of flooring you have. Polished concrete is a wonderful idea for a modern home because it increase the space you have and you can have the floor varnished in a marble design to make it feel like luxury.


Layer texture

Because the colour schemes for modern homes are usually fairly simple and plain, the thing you will want to do in the home is to mix up your textures. You could for example have a rug on the polished concrete for effect, a fluffy throw hanging over your sofa, a wooden decorative panel on the wall… have fun playing with different materials and see what you can come up with for the room. Make sure however that the materials you layer are the same colour, just different tones of that colour.

Homely touches

This next tip can be great whether you are making your home cosier for the family or if you plan to go into airbnb management and rent out the space for some extra money. Candles, cushions, blankets and vases of flowers are all of the things you will want to bring into the home at the end of the day to make it feel more like a family home than a house. Because modern homes are made so simple, you can really go to town here and make sure you have as many different home comforts as you possibly can in the house.



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LIFESTYLE: TIPS TO HELP YOU FURNISH YOUR FIRST HOME

If you have finally reached the point where you are able to buy your very first home, then you will understand how exciting this can be. The problem is that you probably have to buy every single furniture item before you move in, and this can be incredibly expensive.

Assess your Inventory

You’d probably love to furnish your home with brand new items, but you have to remember that this is not a realistic option. You need to save as much money as you can and one way for you to do this would be for you to take inventory of what you have right now. If you are moving in with someone else, then you need to take stock of the inventory that they have as well. If you have a couple of household items that your family are willing to give you then you should also write these down. This can take a while, but it will save you a small fortune in the future.


Rank your Purchases

Buying a home is a huge purchase, and for this reason you will probably have a limited budget
for furnishings when you move in. You can make some costly mistakes here, so it is important to furnish your home with one item at a time. Sure, you will want to have a few essential items such as a bed, a dresser or even a dining table but everything else can be sorted out as individual pieces.


Find Second-Hand Items

Keep in mind that there are so many ways for you to furnish your home without having to focus on high-end items. In fact, you can probably buy most of these items second-hand and save a ton of money. Search out any thrift shops and also try and find some consignment stores in your area as well. Pay attention to the postal charges too, as this can easily add up the total cost. If you are choosing to shop at flea markets then this is great, but do make sure that you give the items a good look over to make sure that they are sound and that nothing is missing. If you don’t want to buy second-hand items but want to get some great deals, then Bentley Designs furniture are the way to go.

Finance

If you are struggling to find certain items you need then you can easily opt for financing options. When you buy something on finance, you will be paying out a set amount every single week and you can get any item you want. When you do invest in finance, you have to make sure that you get a good deal and that you are also happy with the payment terms. Interest rates can vary and if you are on a budget then you have to make sure that you get the lowest one possible.
Of course, there are plenty of ways for you to furnish your first home, and when you take the above into account, you can be sure to get the whole job done with ease.


LIFESTYLE: HOW DO YOU TIDY UP FOR A HOUSE RENOVATION

A house renovation is going to take a lot of potential quality time out of your home, and that means you’re going to have to tidy up and prepare for it accordingly. Sure, you’ve going to be getting a new and improved living space after all the work is over, but you don’t want any of your possessions getting damaged in the process. All in all, that’s going to make the entire ordeal a lot more expensive.

So, if you’re someone who has no idea where to start with clearing out your rooms, and you’ve got the workmen coming round tomorrow morning to get started, here’s a quick checklist to help you out. Why not grab yourself some boxes before you start to make the removal and transportation easier, and then get a sharpie to note down on the box what’s inside!

Once a room has been stripped down to its bare bones, you don’t have to worry about it anymore! (Image)

Take Everything Off of the Walls

The pictures and paintings lining your walls aren’t going to be safe enough to stay up there - not whilst potential masonry pieces and flecks of pain could be falling all over them. So you’re going to need to strip the decorations you’ve got around the room that’s being renovated, even if it’s just a certain half of the room that’s changing, or you’re just getting a new carpet fitted.

Lay Down Some Sheets

Next up is to lay some protective coverings over the floor that’s going to be worked all over, and you can never be sure the company you’re using to renovate your house is going to do so for you. Usually this is standard practice, but be sure to ask if that’s something you’re worried about!

But apart from that, you’re going to want some sheets in the other areas of your home that are going to receive some heavy footfall over the next few days or months. Workmen boots can be caked in all kinds of wet materials and dried off flakes of old paint and plaster - you don’t want that mess spreading throughout the rest of your home.

Get Your Stuff Packed Away Safe

The final point is to make sure you’ve got a good system for removing and keeping your possessions safe. You want to know you can immediately get all the right things back into the right places, to be sure your life and home atmosphere won’t be disrupted for any longer.

Think about what would be most practical here. If you’ve got a garage that has a bit of room to it, great. But if that renovation work you’re about to go through is quite lengthy, as an extension or a conversion tend to be, then look into some professional remove and store companies to help you out.

House renovations can be quite hefty to live with, so make sure you’ve got the space all ready to go in advance. It’ll make the recovery easier too!



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