Nature’s Calling: How to Afford Luxury in Your Backyard

Customizing the look of your home’s exterior is one way to create a space that reflects your personality. This has become even more important as most of us spend more time at home during the pandemic. After all, being able to spend time outside while adhering to social distancing rules is something to be treasured. Making the most of the environment in which we spend so much time is only one part of the story; maintaining one’s backyard, can actually have a therapeutic effect which is invaluable in these times of elevated stress.  There are many frugal ideas that you can try for yourself and that will bring a high-class look without high prices.

Comfortable and colorful

Undoubtedly, the best utility you can give to your backyard is to make one more room in your home. Provide functionality and comfort in your new space by using furniture that’s not needed inside the house. A bench with comfortable cushions, functional tables, and large armchairs, where reading a good book or taking a nice nap is a heavenly pleasure, are a simple solution for a chic feel of your backyard.

A garden shelf DIY

If you’re good with your hands, here’s a DIY idea that you can apply to any outside corner of your home. For this artistic decor, you will need an external shutter (also known as Mallorca window) that you can paint to your liking. And in it, using the slots of the shutter, you can place several pots with beautiful plants in the arrangement that you like.

Hammocks for total relaxation

If you are lucky enough to have trees in your courtyard you cannot miss the opportunity to have one of the traditional objects for the summer. A macramé or fabric hammock will be perfect for reading in the summer afternoons besides being a great decorative addition.

The rustic look is always in style

The rustic style is always a safe bet for patios and other outdoor areas. The stones, tiles, or pavers will be the best allies to your decor. Alternatively, you can use a tree shadow to create a seating area with comfortable and functional furniture.

In addition, rugs are a great and low-effort way to liven up outdoor spaces. Layering patterned outdoor rugs will provide a cozy, rustic feel that’s easy to change depending on the season or the occasion. Having separate sets of rugs for summer, spring, and early fall will add an extra dose of chic to your backyard.

Take care not to overdo it with the cozy vibe, or your friends might never want to leave.

Keep it minimalistic

For a minimalist style backyard, you would need a wooden floor resistant to fire and water, some pots of bamboo, and artificial grass. To create a more relaxed atmosphere, lighting sources are always good allies, especially if you`re using your outdoor space during colder time.

Vertical garden

A good example of how you can create an ideal courtyard even if it’s small is using a combination of boulders and vertical gardens consisting of several plants that give life to the courtyard and serves as a decorative element.

Come on baby light my fire

With this idea, you can make use of 100% of your yard. You will have a handy kitchen to prepare meals and enjoy them with your family and friends. A grill with burner kits will make the grill look more refined and elegant and you can put hooks in the wall/fence to organize your cooking accessories. Moreover, you can have a fire pit in the center of your backyard as a place of reunion. It’s nice, decorative, and calls for telling stories around the fire. It invites people to socialize in the evenings because of the magical atmosphere and allows everyone to stay outside even when the weather gets colder.

Use geometric patterns when decorating

If you’d like to spruce up your yard, one inexpensive idea that creates great visual impact is the use of paver and the surface layers. If you have unused space of the soil in your yard or bare ground that you want to cover up, the use of recycled materials is a great solution. Create a mosaic of your choice. Use moss in the cracks for greater contrast. The combination of these two materials is very cheap but looks very effective.

 

Of course, every yard is unique, so try to give a personal touch to everything you do. Remember, a simple design is often more beautiful and more effective than complex creations, and minimalism is sometimes essential for a harmonious and luxurious look.

3 Winter Resorts You Have to See in Canada

When visiting the north of the border, there are many places to stay for the entire family, but few places are on a must-see list. Canada is famously, or infamously, known for its harshly cold winters. These winters can be rough for some residents, but after many years, they have adapted to the cold, and some people enjoy it.

But one thing that the cold brings out is the snow. The snow is one of many factors that play a role in a Canadian’s winter struggles, but there is a silver lining behind every cloud. In the harsh Canadian snow, that silver lining happens to be the beautiful sights that it creates. These sights are what make the places on a must-see list.

 

Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb is round in Whistler, which is home to some of the most famous ski resorts in North America, but what makes Whistler Blackcomb so unique is that it is the largest ski resort in North America. You could spend an entire week at this resort and still not be able to explore the whole thing. It is massive.

 

Blue Mountains Resort

Blue Mountain ski resort, also known as southern Ontario’s winter playground, is widely accepted as one of Ontario’s most beautiful ski resorts. One thing that Blue mountain is mainly known for is its nightlife. There are 32 ski trails located on Blue mountain, and over 20 stay open at night.

Also, Blue Mountain has a beautiful spa and many stores and shopping centers, and many different spots to stay. Blue Ridge is the perfect place to bring the entire family for some Canadian winter fun.

 

Elk Ridge Resort

Located in Waskesiu Saskatchewan, roughly an hour away from Prince Albert, this ski resort is the epicenter of good old fashion Canadian winter fun. With various cabins and rooms to choose from, Elk ridge resort is a comfortable place to stay for the entire family, no matter the group’s size.

Plus, Elk ridge is not just a ski resort; even though it has fantastic mountains, there are snowmobile trails, a curling arena, and a pond to play pond hockey. If that isn’t family-friendly Canadian winter fun, then what is?

 

Overall, the Canadian culture has gotten used to the snow-filled winters and the harshness of the cold. But, they have also lost sight of one of the gorgeous views that most people will see in their lifetime because they are frequently exposed to them. If you haven’t seen these amazing sights, you should check them out on your next winter vacation.

Plus, there is some great real estate available in Canadian towns where you will be able to see the crazy views and the winter wonderland that winter in Canada has to offer. For example, there are some great Whistler homes for sale just north of the border, which happens to be one of the most incredible sights.

Successful Weight Loss: 8 Tips that Actually Work

Diets, like clothes, have a life of their own. Theories, tips, and myths abound on social media and in conversation. We dove in for you and pulled out the 8 tips that actually work!

Eat Slowly

Did a grown-up tell you to chew your food 100 times before swallowing when you were a kid? They were probably more worried about you choking, but it turns out that slow eating helps us lose weight! The science is a bit spread out, but the results are consistent. Those who eat slower feel full sooner. Because they feel full, they are unlikely to eat more than what’s currently on their plates. Also, the more you chew your food, the fewer calories your food will have as it is broken down. Instant weight loss support. Cool, right?

 

Write Down What You Eat

Even with a solid meal plan with pre-counted calories, we often don’t notice all the other foods we slip in. We can have a heated leftover joining the breakfast, a donut joining lunch, and a slice of pastry joining dinner. Not to mention the snacks. We can justify them as small and in-between, but they each have calories. If we write down what we eat in a food journal, we will notice how many extras we slip in. If you feel like you are craving something, like sugar, modify your diet to remove fewer calories from one side so you can have a healthy dessert instead.

 

Exercise

Exercise burns calories build muscle mass (which burns more calories than fat in the resting state) and promote overall general health. However, the hardest thing about exercising for weight loss is building a routine. Here are some tips that might help.

 

Suit up. It’s just generally easier to commit when you have to suit up for the activity.

 

Assemble your gear. Invest in exercise bands, workout bras, small weights, yoga mats, and anything you think you might need.

 

Exercise. You have suited up, and you have invested. Now it’s time to make good on that investment and tackle that exercise!

Batch Cook

It takes so long to prepare a solid healthy meal that we usually give in and order something or fry what we have in the fridge. A good counter-strategy is to cook large batches of healthy, calorie-counted food. Here are some tips.

 

Prepare the recipes first. Before shopping, look up the recipes you want to try and write down all of the ingredients. Then go on a grocery shopping spree! This will help you get started.

 

Undercook the vegetables. If your recipe calls for a substantial number of vegetables, slightly undercook them. When you reheat them, they will still be firm and delicious.

 

Get Enough Sleep

We have two neurotransmitters (read: brain signals) that help us know when we need to eat. One is ghrelin, which makes us hungry; and leptin, which makes us feel full. The less we sleep, the more ghrelin is produced. Maybe because it knows we didn’t recharge enough for the day! Less leptin is also produced even when we eat. Because of this, we get hungry faster, eat more, and take longer to feel full. The automatic result: more calories taken in, and no weight loss.

 

Don’t Skip Meals

“Ah, I ate too much at lunch, I’ll just skip dinner.” It kind of makes sense, right? But it doesn’t actually help! You will feel more tired, and your body will panic and crave sugar and other energy boosters. When you find your brain failing over a paper or report, you are likely to grab a snack that gives you a top-up of sugar and not many nutrients. Eating a solid, healthy meal keeps your energy consistent and helps you keep going with less snacking and more nutrients. Spread out the calories, keep the meal balanced, and you’ll reap the energy benefits.

Stay Hydrated

Water is the best, healthiest diet-booster of them all. Enough water in a day will keep your stomach filled and your appetite low. Here are some things you can do with water.

 

Drink a glass of water before every meal. A glass of water fills your stomach and suppresses your appetite. You won’t be tempted to eat more than what you plan to.

 

Drink at least 8 times from an 8-ounce glass. With enough water, your body will not retain water weight, and you will lose those extra pounds.

 

Shift your drinks to water. If you find water too tasteless, add lemon or start with sugarless drinks and slowly shift to more water.

 

Weigh Yourself Once a Week

Weekly weigh-ins help you track your progress, without giving you the uncertainty of a daily weigh-in. Remember to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, before you drink water or have breakfast. Log the weight in your food journal and keep reminding yourself of your goal weight.

 

To Sum Up

A lot of the tips we have here are simple, but they are all meant to give your body the best chances to lose weight.

How to Move With a Dog: 7 Tips You Need to Know

Did you know that 63.4 million American households own dogs? But what happens when those households need to move to a new place? A lot of people move with their pets but should follow some tips to ensure that they are comfortable during the process.

Read on to learn about how to move with a dog using seven tips.

 

1. Maintain the Same Routine

Knowing how to move with a dog depends on the dog itself. However, one thing all dogs can benefit from is keeping the same routine before and after the move to make them feel more comfortable. This means serving them their meals at the same time as usual, taking daily walks, and giving them the same affection.

Chances are, even when you continue the same routine while packing up your items, your dog will suspect that something is up. They may follow you around suspecting that you might be abandoning them. With affection, you can try to assure them that everything is alright.

After moving into a new place, keeping the same routine you did at the old place is crucial. It may even be a good idea to give them more playtime until they feel at ease in the new spot.

 

2. Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Just as you may be struggling with stress and anxiety during the move, your pet may be too. Moving with a dog is a lot easier when you help them reduce their anxiety.

You can do this by using natural calming products and exercise. Accessories are ranging from shirts to vests that can help calm a stressed dog. During pet transportation, you may find that essential oils and hemp oil are beneficial.

Exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety in a dog because it releases endorphins. In fact, going on a run with your dog could aid both of you if the stress is overwhelming. Going on long walks will also suffice if you aren’t a runner.

Playing in the backyard for longer than usual can also keep a dog calm. More exercise also means your dog will be exhausted by the end of the day, giving them no time to have stress.

 

3. Choosing the Right Moving Method

Moving with pets, in general, takes a lot more consideration than moving without them. You may have to choose a different moving method overall because of your furry friend.

Hiring professional movers is one method that makes owners’ life way less stressful. With a professional moving company, you don’t have to lift anything or handle the process on your own. However, having strangers around taking your stuff away may be stressful for your pooch.

Luckily, having someone to do most of the work for you means you can focus your energy on your pets. Dog transportation during a move with a moving company should be completed by the owners.

You could also recruit your family and friends to help you move. This is an inexpensive way to get things done, although it may take longer than expected. It is also a great way to make your dogs more comfortable moving to a new place.

Knowing how to move with a pet during the COVID-19 pandemic is a little different. For example, if you planned on flying to your new destination with your pets, you may need to change your plans. Some airlines have halted air pet transport, read more now.

 

4. Creating a Checklist

Knowing how to move with a dog requires more than thinking about transportation. Having a new address means updating important records for you and your pet.

Some of the basics include ordering new tags, updating online microchip information, and finding a new vet. Don’t forget to get your pet’s old health records to take with you in case of an emergency.

Most importantly, pack a bag for your dog just as you would for yourself. This should include their food bowls, a blanket, a leash, and their favorite toys. This will help them feel more comfortable during the ride and when you arrive.

Your checklist should also include pet-proofing the new home before you arrive. This could mean something like purchasing gates to prevent your pet from getting out. You also may be required to register your dog in the new city you move to.

 

5. Introducing the New Home

When you arrive at the new home, let your pet explore the place including the outdoor area. You can use the leash to walk your dog around the entire house and let them sniff around for as long as necessary.

While your dog is exploring the outdoors, check for any dangers you may have missed since the last time you saw the house. It is especially crucial to know if there are any poisonous plants in the yard that your dog may get into.

After the outdoors have been checked by your dog, let them inside. Keeping them on a leash even inside is recommended because it will help them feel less stressed. This way you can guide them through the home one room at a time.

 

6. Create a Safe Space

You don’t want your pet on a leash constantly in the home. Even when they are still getting familiar with the new place, it is important to let them off the hook.

To keep them comfortable when they are off the leash, create a safe space for them filled with their favorite toys and their comfy dog bed. This lets them know that the new place is safe for relaxing.

 

7. Settling In

Don’t be alarmed if your dog doesn’t eat or use the restroom enough after the move. It will take them some time to settle in and get back to their normal self. Generally, dogs will get comfortable after just a week of being in their new home.

 

How to Move With a Dog Explained

If moving is a stressful adventure for you, imagine what your dog is going through. Knowing how to move with a dog depends on the location of the new home and the dog itself. Using this guide can help you get through the basics of moving with your pet.

Keep coming back for more articles with tips about taking care of your pets.

Green Tips for an Environmentally Friendly Office

Let’s be clear. The planet Earth is in danger. All thanks to selfish individuals who put their needs and profits way above common good. Unfortunately, individuals aren’t the only ones to blame. Companies and corporations all over the world carry a burden of guilt too. Nonetheless, the number of eco-friendly organizations is slowly starting to increase. If your company is one of them, take a look at some green tips to help you build a more sustainable work environment.

Put Together a Sustainability Team

The truth is, you, as a manager, can’t accomplish much all by yourself regarding sustainability around the office. For this reason, you should put together a team in charge of coming up with ideas, educating others, and implementing sustainability policies. For example, the team can launch projects such as getting involved in recycling or advising the management of energy-efficient pieces of equipment and eco-friendly office supplies. More importantly, team members can attend green meetings with employees and local authorities. They can use these meetings to inform on sustainability and work together on finding sustainable options for using water and energy. Additionally, they can think of new ways to reduce waste around the workplace. In the end, the team has to keep track of office supplies and monitor utility bills. Based on their insights, the management can make adjustments thus positively affecting the environment.

Avoid Using Paper

One of the most important aspects in which your company can become more eco-friendly is paper consumption. Employees spend most of their time working on projects, drawing up documents, revising them, and printing them out. These processes in the end lead to creating over 90% of office waste around the US while the rest is kept in numerous storage units. Additionally, you no longer have to print out notifications, memos, or notes from the meeting. Why waste paper when you can rely on technology and the Internet to help you reduce paper waste? In particular, try using alternatives to Slack to keep staff posted not only on work assignments but also on sustainability policies. Similarly, you can always ask your vendors to send invoices or e-statements instead of paper ones.

Use Renewable Sources of Energy

Wind or solar energy are considered green sources of energy. Unlike a few decades ago, these sources are today more accessible than ever before. Companies going green are deciding to install solar panels on their rooftops or wind farms. The best part about this step is that companies of all sizes, including start-ups and small businesses, can start embracing renewable energy. Depending on your business’s location, you can opt for a renewable energy plan instead of the regular one. However, you have to bear in mind that going green in this respect is going to cost you more than the traditional power plan. In the end, the expense is incomparable to how much good you do for your company and the planet by choosing to turn your company into a more sustainable one.

Choose Natural Air Purifiers

Companies adopting sustainability as a business mindset have started doing so by selecting natural air purifiers instead of chemical ones. For example, employees can bring their plants to decorate their workspace or the HR department gives a plant to new employees on their first day as a gift. Namely, plants not only improve the quality of air in the closed office space but also add a natural touch to the work environment. Additionally, they are known for producing oxygen and purifying the air, which means employees will work in a healthier and cleaner work environment. Fresh air and decorative plants will also help them concentrate and relax in between tasks and meetings. This way, not only do you get highly productive and satisfied employees but also eco-friendly offices.

Remember to Turn Off Appliances

One of the major green tips for an environmentally friendly office state you should instruct your employees to turn off all appliances once they leave work for the day. They shouldn’t leave them on overnight as they consume too much energy, and your utility bills could go through the roof. In case the last person to leave the office forgets to switch or unplug appliances, they can put money in the special jar. All the money collected this way your company can use to support environmental organizations in the local area.  Therefore, you will be raising awareness on environmental decency not only in the workplace but also locally.

In the end, we still have enough time to turn things for the better and put an end to the global climate crisis. If everyone does their part, from individuals to organizations, the world can become a much better and healthier place.