Affordable and Sustainable Home Additions That Will Save You Money

Saving money is in everyone’s interest. When it comes to your house, most people will agree that they’d use any tip to save money. Household bills can be expensive and often cost more than you need to spend. From your energy to your food, there are simple ways to save money with these sustainable home additions.

Solar energy

Solar energy can often be expensive to install. However, it can save you a lot of money in the long run. For instance, solar panels can soak up enough energy to power the entire house, which leaves you with little to no energy bills. 

Or, for more affordable sustainable options to save you money on energy, you can light up the exterior of your home with solar lights. The best solar post lights will help you light up the garden whilst saving money. Solar-powered lights soak up the daylight and use that energy to leave your garden lit up all evening.

Energy-saving bulbs

Speaking of lighting up the home, you can save money while lighting up the inside too. Using energy-saving light bulbs will mean that they use up less energy, which will mean a reduced energy bill. 

Seeing as they use less energy and conserve energy, you will achieve living more sustainably at home. When possible, ensure to always switch off the plugs when you are not using them. Although the electric device might not be turned on, it can still use up energy.

Grow your own produce

Growing your own produce is a great way to live more sustainably, eat better, and save money. You could use your garden or inside window space to grow fruits and vegetables. You will be contributing less to plastics due to the lack of buying produce in the supermarket. Furthermore, you will save money as you won’t need to buy produce every week. Instead, you can pick it fresh from the garden. 

The longer you grow your own produce, the better you will become at it. In no time you will be able to grow more produce and get to grips with growing enough to not have to buy it from the stores. 

Growing your own food will encourage you to eat more vegetables too, which is ideal for better health. 

Choose better habits

Choosing better habits at home can help you contribute less to climate change. Instead of spending your entire evening watching television, you could read or sew. Instead of always using electricity, you can switch off and do something that uses nothing that contributes to climate change. 

Additionally, you could cook more plant-based meals, which is great for the planet. You could integrate two or three days a week that allow you to cook plant-based for the family. In time, you will practice new recipes and eat fewer animal products. You will discover new flavors and enjoy the goodness that plant-power can offer. If you are not used to plant-based eating, there are plenty of recipe books that can inspire you.

 

Giving Your DIY Jewelry A Professional Shine

Making your own jewelry is a wonderful hobby to have, as well as one of the most creative ways to express yourself through your own fashion. And if you aren’t someone who usually likes to DIY, when it comes to stringing a few beads together in your own little way, you should definitely give it a try! 

However, a lot of people who make their own jewelry on a casual basis often don’t like to wear their creations, simply because they look ‘amateurly’ made. But with the right tools and a bit of knowhow, you can give any of your DIY jewelry creations a real professional shine! Here’s what you need to know. 

Be Careful About Your Beads

First of all, make sure you’re working with the right material. You want to have beads that look good inside and out, even if they’re just plastic, which means checking each and every bead you pick up for imperfections, the same way you would a gemstone before cutting. 

This can take a little while, and you might get bored of handpicking beads one by one, but it’s worth it! It’ll make sure you put enough time and energy into the jewelry piece to qualify it for being professionally made, and it’ll look better than ever. 

Work with the Right Tools

It’s often said that ‘a bad workman blames his tools’ but it’s true that a bad or non-existent set of equipment can put you on the backfoot. And seeing as you’re trying to make your DIY creations look a bit more professional, you’re going to need a toolkit that’s worthy of you! But what should you include? 

Well, you’re going to need a glue gun and some glue sticks from Glue Guns Direct, as well as some proper craft scissors, and a pair of pliers and tweezers. You’re also going to want to get your hands on a thread burner, as this’ll help you to achieve a polished, sealed off look, without needing to cut thread and leave some behind to ruin the look of the piece. 

Learn How to Handle the Thread

Finally, you’re going to need to get a good handle on the thread of any bracelets or necklaces you put together, as loose or baggy thread can truly ruin both the look and functionality of your DIY jewelry. 

Most of all, you need to know how to keep thread taught at all times during the making process, but not held so tight that it could break with the slightest amount of pressure. It’s a hard balance to find, but with a bit of stretching and waxing, you’ll get the length you need without the tension becoming a problem. 

DIY jewelry is a fun hobby to commit to, and you can come up with some absolutely lovely jewelry that really complements your look. However, make sure you’re putting a professional edge on your works, as this’ll really seal the style of the outfit you put together! 

How To Decorate Your Apartment For Summer

While the time for spring cleaning may have passed you by, there are various changes you can make to breathe some summer sunshine into your apartment this June. This doesn’t mean you have to plan to completely remodel or redecorate the space, as sometimes, even the smallest changes can have the biggest impact when it comes to interior design. Furthermore, changing up things such as color schemes and furniture throughout the year can entirely transform how your apartment feels, reducing the chances of you feeling bored of the space.

Therefore, if you’re looking to turn your flat from a fixer-upper into a dream apartment, you can use these tips to pull off the perfect summertime makeover! 

  • Replace bulky curtains with lightweight blinds so that you can make the most of natural light and sunshine – especially if you’re working from home or spending a lot of time indoors. 
  • Bring a splash of seasonal color into your home by getting your hands on some fresh flowers. You can even arrange Flower Delivery online by reaching out to a local florist. Flowers are a great way to change how a space looks or feels without having to make too many changes – and they look perfect wherever you chose to display them in your home.
  • In the winter months, you’ll probably focus on making your home as warm and cozy as possible – which often means you have an abundance of throws, pillows, and blankets lying around. While this is a great way to achieve the perfect winter aesthetic, they’ll likely feel suffocating when it’s warm outside. Therefore, you should ensure you store these items away during the summer. 
  • Switch out cushion covers, looking for bold and bright designs and colors that simply scream summer. For example, you should keep an eye out for pops of yellow and orange, and red. 
  • If you’re finding it hard to sleep, switch out your winter duvet for light sheets that will help you stay cool and comfortable throughout the night. This is yet another excellent opportunity to bring in a splash of color.
  • If you’ve put together a summer-themed color scheme, why not look for peel and stick wallpaper that matches your design? This is a great way to transform the space without altering it permanently – as you can simply remove the paper when you are done. 
  • Find ways to bring nature into your home. For example, in addition to flowers, you could also bring various plants into your home. If you weren’t born with a natural green thumb, focus on plants that don’t require too much attention or regular maintenance – such as succulents. Alternatively, you could also buy fake plants so that you never have to worry about taking care of them. 
  • If you have a balcony or any outdoor space, ensure you make the most of it. Throw open the doors to let in the fresh air, and give it a little TLC in time for summer BBQs and evening drinks. For example, one way you could enhance your outdoor space’s quality is by adding outdoor lights.

What to Eat for Breakfast When You Can’t Decide

Some people simply are not breakfast people. Sitting down to a full meal first thing in the morning can sound like torture to those who prefer to get up and go, or tend to wake up in a rush. However, the simple truth is that it is, indeed, the most important meal of the day when it comes to giving you energy for the day, regulating your metabolism, and more. So, here are some breakfasts that are quick and easy for the person who hates breakfast.

Yo, it’s yogurt time

We’re not talking about the sugar-filled fruity yogurts that tend to line fridge shelves. We are, instead, talking about Greek yogurt, which is not only a creamier and more filling breakfast but also provides a lot of protein and directly increases your metabolic rate, meaning that your body is better at burning energy throughout the day. It’s not difficult at all to make a nice Greek yogurt breakfast bowl with this creamy, delicious base.

Getting your greens

Fruits and vegetables make for a vital part of a nourishing breakfast. With a blender, you can easily make a green juice smoothie that you can gulp down in seconds to get it all in no time, as well. All fruits can help you reach your need for vitamins and fibers, and greens like spinach are full of iron and antioxidants, and they’re all very low in calories.

Eat egg-scelent

Hard-boiled eggs (and raw eggs) are some of the best foods you can eat. They’re delicious and they’re really filling, making them great for avoiding snacking throughout the day. However, they also have great protein and contain nutrients that are vital for brain health. Despite being rather high in cholesterol themselves, they are actually good for your heart health, helping to reduce the “bad” cholesterol in the body and even helping to improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

Binge on berries

If you want a sweet treat that you don’t need to feel guilty about, then berries can easily be a good way to go. A nice berry oatmeal will be chock full of antioxidants that lower your risk of disease, will giving you plenty of fiber and very few calories. If you want to have a gluten-free breakfast, then you can pair those berries with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, as well.

Let the leafs lead the way

What do you drink for breakfast if you’re not feeling like a smoothie? A morning cup of joe can actually be good for you, but when it comes to pure health benefits, green tea is undeniably the winner. It also has caffeine to help perk you up in the morning, but it also has a lot of antioxidants that reduce your risk of cancer, improve the immune system, and can even help fight the sights of aging.

A couple of these at the beginning of your day can make sure you get the proper start without needing to worry about prep all that much. Whatever you do, don’t skip that breakfast.

How To Impress Guests

When you’re hosting guests, whether difficult in-laws staying for the weekend or friends coming to a dinner party, you want to impress them as soon as they arrive. Here’s how to do it. 

Give A Great First Impression

First impressions are important, so make sure that the first place your guests come to, your front door, is inviting and spotless. You can do this in a few different ways. Arrange some pot plants around the front door, add a pretty welcome mat, make sure the front step is clean, or hang a wreath from the front door. You could try a few or all of these ideas. 

This can also be a good way to show off your decor taste. For example, adding some colorful pot plants instantly gives the impression that your house is a fun and light-hearted place. 

Create A Welcoming Entrance

You want to make a great first impression on your guests, and this first impression reaches the moment that your guests first step inside. You want to make them feel at home as soon as you can. 

Make sure you have an area ready where your guests can put down any small items they’re carrying, like the keys or a wallet, and still have easy access to them later on if they need them. If you like your guests to take off their shoes, put a shoe rack or box in your entranceway for shoes to be stored in. For coats and jackets, make sure you have a wardrobe that your guests can easily access without having to ask you to get them for them. 

For another welcoming touch, add some fresh flowers or a scented diffuser. 

Offer Beverages And Snacks

If you ever stay in fancy hotels, you will know that one of the first things you’re offered is a drink or a small snack. This is part of how hotels welcome guests, and it works. It is especially well-received by guests who have traveled a long way. 

Offer drinks soon after people arrive, and something light to eat. If you want to really impress, choose a snack with wow factor. You can buy caviar online, for example, for something really special. 

Show your guests where to find drinks and snacks too, so they can get them later themselves. 

Show Them Their Rooms

No matter how close you are with your family or friends, a lot of us prefer to have our own space, whether only for a few minutes or as a retreat if things get busy or noisy. Your guests feel no different. 

Show your guests to their rooms soon after they arrive, if they’ll be staying with you. If you don’t have a spare room and your guest will be sleeping on the sofa, at least show them where they can put their luggage. 

Make sure your guests know where the bathrooms are. Set out towels for them, and do things like showing them the shower works if it’s tricky. 

How to Protect Your Phone

Keeping your smartphone safe and sound is so important, as it’s such a large investment that you simply cannot let go to waste. Luckily, learning exactly how you can keep your smartphone out of harm’s way needn’t be as difficult as you might expect, as there are several simple tips and tricks that you can do to ensure you can keep your device for as long as possible. So, if you would like to find out more, then simply read on! 

Invest In A Strong Case 

One of the easiest options that you can pursue to protect your phone involves investing in a super strong case that can absorb the impact should you ever accidentally drop your phone. There are so many different cases available on the market today that claim to be able to protect your phone, but it’s important that you can spend some time researching a few options to see which have the best reviews. Many products claim to be able to stop glass smashing from a height of as much as 5 metres, but oftentimes it’s unlikely that this claim can be backed up or proven. So, read through the reviews that have been left by previous customers to identify whether each option is actually a worthwhile investment. A personalised wood phone case might just be the perfect option, as not only are they made from an über sturdy material, they’re also aesthetically pleasing to look at! Try to avoid those which do not wrap around the phone to protect the edges of the screen, otherwise you will still end up damaging or smashing your smartphone if you drop it face down. 

 

Get A Screen Protector 

Investing in a screen protector is a brilliant way to keep your phone out of harm’s way, as you can source even the most intense tempered glass to help protect your screen from any kind of damage. Even doing something as simple as popping your house keys into the same pocket as your smartphone can scratch all over your screen and cause serious issues, so you must make an effort to keep your screen clear of any imperfections by utilizing a screen protector. It’s a good idea to check out a few tutorials on how to apply a screen protector is the best way, otherwise you may end up with unsightly bubbles of air that get trapped beneath the surface. 

Check out Amazon for some cheap screen protectors that work great!

 

Get Insurance

Getting an insurance package that covers damage to your smartphone will help you to maintain ultimate peace of mind, as no matter what happens to your device you will be covered financially. If you break your smartphone beyond repair then your insurance company will ship out a new device free of charge, so it’s a brilliant investment that every tech owner should consider. Insurance can even cover less serious issues such as cracked screens too, so it’s a worthwhile decision that can be of real benefit for your device. 

It’s never been easier to protect your smartphone! 

How to Host a Springtime BBQ

When the weather gets warmer, spring and summer can be such wonderful times to enjoy. You can get outside late into the evenings, dining al fresco, and get the grill going for BBQs in the sunshine. If you want to host the best BBQ with friends, then here are some tips to make sure that you are the hostess with the mostess.

Prep food before your guests arrive

When guests know they are coming to something that involves food, they are going to come hungry. Most of these BBQ tips can come from people correcting their mistakes, and one of them is not having food prepared before guests arrive. You want to have salads ready to service and meat marinated and chopped ready to go on the frill. Then you can get down to the main event of eating, sooner rather than later. So give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead and get everything ready, and it will make you feel much less stressed too.

All the condiments

When it comes to a BBQ, you can’t go too far wrong by getting all of the condiments for the group. This can involve getting the best BBQ sauce for wings, dressings for salads, salt and pepper, and other condiments that will suit, such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. There will be something that everyone likes and they’ll help to make their dishes much more appealing.

Decorate outside

Decorating outside is something that takes the BBQ to a party, rather than just any other day out in the yard. You could decorate with things like lanterns and balloons, as well as decorating with lights and bunting. Making sure that there is enough lighting out there is a good idea. Getting tableware, along with things like tablecloths, will help to bring it in altogether and make the party look great.

Drinks

The fun of a BBQ is having fun drinks and staying out until it starts to get dark. You could get a cooler for drinks, or just get a stylish bucket filled with ice, where drinks can be stored to keep them cool. You could also line up some Kilner jar glass drinks dispensers for people to help themselves to, and they look super cute too. If people are bringing children, then this can be a neat idea as you can have soft drinks and water for little ones who can then help themselves.

Games and entertainment

The main event may be the food, and you and your friends may prefer to eat, drink, and talk at the table, late into the evening. If it is more of a family affair, you want to get up and move with your guests, then think about what kind of entertainment you could have. It might be that just putting on a playlist for people to dance to is enough, but you could get some backyard games for people to play, from badminton to Twister, or Cornhole. Think about what would be fun for your guests, and then you can plan accordingly. 

It’s Time to Spring Clean!

The past year feels like we have all cleaned and sanitized nearly everything within an inch of its life. But as spring approaches, thinking about spring cleaning is still as relevant as ever. But where do you even start with this kind of thing? You might be lacking in motivation to sort and clean your apartment and get those jobs done that you have been putting off. But if you get it done now, then it is done and you can focus on enjoying the rest of spring and summer. 

Have a plan in place

If you want to not have to spend more time on this than is needed, then think about a plan to get spring cleaning in your apartment. Plan out what needs to be done when, and which rooms need the most attention. What kind of timeline can you plan for the spring cleaning? Start with rooms that are busy and get the most use, and then you can go from there.

Declutter

One of the best ways to start a spring clean is by having a good clear out of all of the items in the apartment. You may be short on storage space as it is, so having a chance to declutter can be such a good idea. It can be a good idea to work on the premise that if you haven’t used it or worn it in over a year, then it is time to say goodbye. Of course, any items that are of good quality could be sold or donated, rather than just thrown out. 

Check what needs to be repaired

After winter, your apartment could need repairs in a few areas. For example, looking at an HVAC repair or a service could be needed after a winter of using it a lot. You might need to repair some cracks in the walls, broken tiles, or other things in the apartment that have endured a lot of wear and tear after the past couple of years. Spring is a good excuse to start afresh with something, so it could be just the reason that you need to get things just as you want them to be.

Assess your cleaning supplies

The last thing that you want to find, when it is time to polish your glass and mirrors, that you are out of glass and mirror polish! If you want to do a deep spring clean, which could be just what your apartment needs, then you need to have the supplies in place to help you to do this. Then you can start to clean anything, as soon as you have the time to do it, rather than being held back because you don’t have the right cleaning products in for the job.

Motivate yourself with a playlist

When it comes to doing the cleaning or the decluttering and organizing, having a playlist ready to go can help you to get in the zone. It can motivate you to get moving, and if you choose something like a podcast, can be some really enjoyable and therapeutic time. Check out my Spotify playlists here

4 Easy Health Hacks to Feel Better Every Day 

We often feel it’ll require so much time, money, and effort to improve our health, well-being, and lifestyle. However, it’s more attainable than we think. With a few simple lifestyle tweaks and adding new habits to your daily routine, you can turn your life around just like magically snapping your fingers and waking up with a smile. Statistics have suggested that over 40 million adults in the US are dealing with some form of health or anxiety disorder, yet the pandemic could worsen the situation. I for one suffer from anxiety, so I try my best to make simple tweaks to feel better daily. Here are some tips that can help keep you healthy and feeling great!

Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep
The need for regular adequate sleep every night cannot be overemphasized. According to the National Sleep Foundation, having a decent amount of restful sleep from anywhere between seven to nine hours each night can sharpen your brain, improve your mood and peak your energy levels. Additionally, having a good rest reduces your insulin level and decreases your stress rate, leaving you with glowing and radiant skin. If you find yourself sleeping less or having trouble getting enough sleep, you may reach out to the doctor or try the tips below;

 

 

  • Create a sleep schedule and stick to it
  • Consider what you eat or drink before heading for bed
  • Create an atmosphere ideal for sleeping 
  • Limit your daytime naps. 

Consume more vegetables
A recent study has proposed a new way to gain more from your food nutrients without the need to put in extra effort; consume your veggies raw. Nutritionists have indicated that some vitamins and minerals are lost during cooking, making an excellent case to consume your veggies when they’re not yet cooked if you can. Meanwhile, some researchers have suggested that consuming vegetables in their natural state can help manage depression. While this isn’t for everybody, there are other ways you can eat your veggies. Why not check out this delicious garlic dip and sauce to take your meal to the next level?

 

 

Burn calories with regular physical activity
The rich benefits of regular physical activity are enormous; from muscle gain and fat burn, the perks of regular exercising goes beyond just the physical benefits. As proposed by the American psychological association, regular exercise effectively boosts your mood, and it has demonstrated a useful technique for managing anxiety, stress, and depression. Aside from its short-term effects, working out has long term effects of leaving you feeling good over an extended period. You can begin with working out 15 minutes every day and just three times each week. 

 

 

Have a positive outlook
After everything happening currently, from job losses, social distancing, and lack of outdoor activity, it may be challenging to keep positive over an extended period with the impending second wave of COVID-19 infection. However, psychologists have advised writing down three positives from every day and how it made you feel. No matter how small they are, write them down. This means you’ll have something positive to feel good about despite everything else that happens during the day. 

 

 

Are you looking to live a healthier, better long life? Then these simple tips, diets, and lifestyle adjustment should get you started.

 

Why You Should Eat More Vegetables

It’s 2021, and let’s be real 2020 was a real doozy. When the new year starts everyone tries to eat healthy, get fit, lose some weight etc. I’ve personally been doing a paleo/whole 30 mix to try to shed a few pounds and get healthier. (*note I know Whole 30 is meant to be for 30 days but I’m just taking a few of the rules and applying them to my life to make it less restrictive so don’t come at me lol)

One of the main things I’ve been doing is adding more vegetables to my meals. Did you know that a vegan diet can help you lose weight? By swapping out unhealthy foods for vegan-friendly or vegetarian meals, you can lower your calorie consumption which is fantastic if you’re looking to lose weight. Vegetables are so low calorie and very nutrient dense. You can eat a lot more vegetables than you can say carbs and still feel full. 

Not only is eating more vegetables good for your body but it’s good for the earth. A plant based diet can help keep the soil clean, conserve water around the world and also cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Diets always seem so restrictive but when you look at it in a different lens you can be more creative. You can try out the best sauteed kale recipes, vegan meat substitutes, and try making your own creations (I highly recommend Pinterest!) They’re healthy, they taste great, and they’ll teach you about unique food combinations that will enhance your cooking.

There are lots of unique breakfast and lunch ideas for a plant based diet that differ drastically from typical diets. There are also thousands of unique dinner recipes that you can try if you want some variety. If you want to add more vegetables into your daily routine, it really starts one meal at a time.