Category Archives: Home

Keeping Yourself Fit And Healthy At Home

The current pandemic has meant many folks have had to move their office into their homes. But working from home can harbor risks that must be consciously countered. With these helpful tips, you can strengthen your health from home and prevent permanent complaints.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

1. Sitting properly

“Back pain is one of the most common ailments for workers. You can effectively prevent them by adopting a healthy sitting posture. An ergonomic chair provides the basis for this,” says Dr. Ursula Marschall. The sitting posture should be as upright as possible, with arms and legs at right angles to the body and both feet firmly on the floor.

2. Align the laptop at the correct height

Anyone who works with a laptop should point it at the right angle. Between the eyes and the screen, around 50 to 70 centimeters is ideal. To protect the neck, the viewing angle should be around 20 degrees. The more you are looking down at the screen, the more tension you are holding in your neck and shoulders which can cause pain and health trouble in the future. 

3. Regular breaks with exercise

Many people end up exercising less when working from home. Regular breaks are important for productivity in the home office. This can best be combined with some exercise. Every hour you should get up and move around at least once, for example to get a glass of water or for a short yoga session. In addition, during the lunch break or after work, a walk of at least half an hour or some other moderate exercise is recommended in order to get a balance. You could look to Fitness 19 for further inspiration.

4. Don’t forget a healthy diet

Food cravings or casual snacks are more common in the home office. Determining fixed times for lunch and having healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts on hand can help. The daily structure with a lunch break that a working day in the office offers can also be created in the home office. Try shared virtual lunches! And don’t forget hydration either. Screen time can cause dry eye and headaches so you must remember to drink plenty of water. Keep a water bottle nearby.

4. Strengthen mental health

In the home office, the line between professional and private life is often blurred, you can be reached permanently or work longer. Those who actively manage their limits in the home office experience up to 14 percent less stress. According to a recent study, a conscious separation of professional and private life is helpful for many people in the home office. Fixed working hours and a non-working evening make sense here. A spatial separation such as a separate workplace also ensures that work and leisure do not mix. It is not always easy to do this at home but do your best.

How do you keep yourself fit and healthy at home? 

P.S. Fingers crossed we can travel again soon. I’ve got my Tom Bihn ready!

Working From Home? Here is How to Find Balance

Depending on your job title and employer, you may have found yourself working from home for the last 18 months. And while we would like to take this moment to salute our frontline workers for keeping the world going while the rest of us were forced indoors, it has been tough on us too. 

While we may have settled into a routine of working from home, there can still be the issue of finding balance. From the looks of things, we will not be returning to the office anytime soon. If you are still struggling, here are some suggestions on how to keep your home and work life separate when they are occupying the same space.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Spare Room? How about an office?

If you are lucky enough to have a spare room, this could potentially be a great home office. Not only will this be a great excuse to decorate or tidy the space to give it purpose, but it will also create a boundary within your home for work. You may have noticed in the early days of the pandemic, you found it difficult to switch off from work mode at the end of the day. This is likely because you were working in your home, not your office. This new boundary can have a massive positive impact on your mental health and work productivity. Plus, it is better to hide your paperwork behind a closed-door than the kitchen table. That way you won’t be thinking about it when you don’t need to be.

Turn off notifications

If you find yourself checking emails and messages after hours because they keep pinging your phone, you need to turn those notifications off. If you can’t dedicate a space for your home office, you can at least dedicate time. And turn things off after your dedicated working hours have passed. The simple fact is, you are only supposed to work so many hours and calculating part time work hours while you are at home might add up to the equivalent of a full time job. If you are struggling to turn them off, you might need to invest in a separate work phone to keep things separate.

Cultivate an inner sense of work

When we had to commute to work, there was a period during the travelling to your workplace when you had time to process and transition into work mode. When you start working from home, this doesn’t happen. Instead, you must learn to make that switch to work mode before you sit down to your daily tasks. 

What you might want to do is set up a routine that helps get you into the mindset of starting your workday. One of my favorite ways is to pretend that it is still a workday and I have to leave the house. So, get up, have a quick workout and shower, pop on some clean clothes and grab a cup of coffee as you head to your workstation.

Leave work at work

This might seem a bit impossible as your workstation will be in your home, but it is still possible. When you are finished with your workday, pack all of your work stuff together, turn off those notifications, and shut the door to your office. After you are done for the day, there is no reason why you need to have your work things around you. If you are tempted to work, that’s fine. Some people find themselves in a flow and don’t want to break. But once you are finished with your tasks, it is time to put work away for the day.

Do not let your family in your office

If you are having to balance working at home with homeschooling your children, this can be tricky. If you have space, set up little workstations for them in your office, such as a kids play table and chairs. This will signal to them that this is where schoolwork is completed. But once they are finished with their work, they have to leave the office and do playtime somewhere else. It is important that they do not play in your office because it can become a distraction for you. Also, there is a good chance that you have important work documents that you don’t want to be ruined.

These are some of the ways you can create a better balance of work and home life while we are still working from home. Try these out and see if they help you to create a space of productivity and relaxation.

P.S. Check out this DIY desk decor! 😉

Tips To Improve Your Garden Space

Garden space is something often forgotten about when it comes to the home. However, it’s an area of the property that you should be able to enjoy all year round, despite what the weather may throw your way. Here are some helpful tips to improve your garden space.

* This post may contain affiliate links.

Think Outside The Box

What would you like to have in your garden? There are so many different ways of styling it to suit your preferences but to also help you manage your outdoor space a bit more easily than before. There can be a lot of difficulty to upkeep a garden when you’re perhaps not that interested in doing anything with it in the first place. Try to design a garden that is suited to your gardening pleasures. Some like to get stuck in with making a garden that is full of flowers and shrubbery, whereas others might like to keep it plain and simple.

There are also different textures, levels, and materials that you can work with when it comes to the garden space so try to think outside of the box when it comes to revamping it or giving it a little lift.

Get The Right Equipment

The right equipment for your garden’s upkeep is important whether you’re using a bud trimming machine or something a simple as a trowel. You need to have all the necessary tools and machinery in order to keep the garden as it should be. If you have grass as opposed to gravel or mulch, you’ll likely want a mower. There are also machines that can cut the weeds for you so that you don’t have to. Investing in the equipment for your garden will end up making everything a lot easier as a result.

Keep It All Neat & Tidy

It can be frustrating when you want to enjoy your garden but it’s overrun and untidy. Even though you might not be someone who loves to prim and preen the garden on a daily basis, it’s still important to attend to it on occasion. Just like you would the interior of your house, there are always little tweaks and changes you can do in order to keep your garden pace in a neat and tidy way. Even if it’s pulling out weeds as and when you see them, it ends up making all the difference.

Consider A Water Feature

Having a bit of variety in your outdoor space is essential and it can make for a more enjoyable viewpoint. It might be worth considering something like a water feature or perhaps a pond to add a bit more of a relaxed atmosphere to the space. Ponds can house all types of wildlife and it might be something that would encourage a lot more activity in your garden that you can enjoy to the fullest.

No matter which tip you go with, improving your garden space is a great way to make sure you can enjoy ALL parts of your home Happy gardening!

Top 5 Exterior Trends That Are Shaping Home Style

As if we are living in a cocoon, we tend to think style can only exist inside the home. The exterior be damned! But frankly, the exteriors of our homes are just begging us to come out and play. There is so much opportunity that gets left to the wayside. One of the reasons why we might be reluctant is that we don’t want to mistake that leaves future curb appeal lacking. That’s a good point, but when you have read the following points about exterior trends, you can feel a bit more confident about shaping your outdoor home style.

Glasshouse

For a while now, home designers have wanted to merge the outside with the inside of our homes. And their latest answer to this puzzle is simply adding more windows. Rather than a solid wall, homes of the future may be built with multiple windows inside a giant glasshouse frame. Added window installation allows us to look outside, without having to get up off the sofa, to see everything in our garden and or driveways.

Darker tones begone

You know the drill, it’s easier to wear something that is dark than something that’s bright. Dirt doesn’t show up and we don’t have to clean it as much. But for the exterior of the home, darker tones can now be gone, as better and slicker finishes are now available for the cladding. So, beige, cream and white are all back into the fore.

Sparkling clean

A home that just looks clean from the outside, has far more curb appeal, even for homes that don’t have much style. Speak with some of the best window cleaners and talk to them about your needs. They will use a special solution and water pressure squeegee to clean water stains, bird droppings or dirt and debris that gets lodged on the frames.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Double doors

For a long time, the front door has been just that, ‘a’ door. But the modern trend is to turn our front door into a double door so the opening or entrance to our home is a lot wider. This gives off the image of a grander property and also, makes it more welcoming for guests. Framed doors are also making a comeback. You could have a 3-frame door or even an 8-frame double door. 

The porch

Have you noticed how homes kind of look bald without a porch? A little shaded place where you can sit, and enjoy your front yard is something many of us yearn for. Thankfully, home designers are championing the porch once more, advising homeowners to create their own porch in whatever style they see fit. The classic American porch is the most popular, because it’s easy to build and is a melting pot of styles.

The exteriors of our homes can be a style haven for our creativity to shine from. These are just some of the trends that are occurring right now, but do you have any of your own ideas about what would make a home’s curb appeal rise?

Make Your Home Into The Best Space Ever!

Are you thinking of changing up your home? You most likely have a number of rooms to play with here, so it might take a while to complete everything you want to change. This just means that you’ve got to take the time to plan it all out. Make sure you are taking the time to really think about what you actually want, and not the things somebody else thinks you should have. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at how you can make your home into the best space ever, so keep reading if you would like to find out more.

* This post may contain affiliate links.

Make It You

The first thing you are going to need to do is make it you. Don’t worry about what anyone else says or what anyone else thinks, because if it’s going to be the best space ever, then it needs to be your space. Try to put everything out of your mind other than what would make you happy. This is the most important thing, and if you are focused on anything else, you won’t be entirely happy with the outcome. Think about the things that make you uniquely YOU and then see if you can translate these things into your home.

You might want to speak to a professional interior designer if you’re not entirely sure how you can do this. They will have some fantastic ideas based off of whatever you tell them, making sure the space is a reflection of who you are.

Everything In Working Order

Another thing that you’re going to need to do to make your home the best space ever is to make sure that everything is in working order. Sometimes things break, and that’s okay, but a lot of people seem to think that replacing or fixing them isn’t worth the hassle. We can assure you that these things are key to the best space ever. Otherwise you wouldn’t have these things in your home at all. For example, you need HVAC repair, instead of putting it off, you should get it done as soon as possible. 

Prioritize Comfort

Finally, the thing that you should be prioritizing above all else is comfort. You don’t want to be uncomfortable in your own home, which means that you should be doing things to add comfort wherever you can. An example would be adding candles and blankets to your living room. We know that these might seem like simple additions, and they are, but that doesn’t make them any less important to the overall impact of your aesthetic.

Hopefully, you have found this article helpful and now see some of the things that you can do if you want to make your home into the best space ever. There isn’t much that you won’t be able to do if you put your mind to it, so once you have an idea, roll with it and see where it takes you. Keep in mind: you want to be going for something that you’ve always wanted, so don’t stray too far in the hopes of finding something better. 

Entryway Wish List

Where do you focus your design-energy in your home? There are the obvious spaces — like creating a zen-like bathroom or a kitchen that feels cozy enough for guests to gather around the table. But lately, I’ve been feeling inspired to add a little of my aesthetic to our new entryway. As I mentioned in this post, it’s the first design project I’d like to tackle in our new abode. After all, it’s the first thing folks see when they walk in your house!

So far, I’ve got these hooks hung and a runner rug laid out. (Shout out to my mom for choosing the rug!) I took to Amazon to track down some other pieces that are now wish listed for the project …

This shelf, sitting long-ways, can display my bits and bobs, but also offers a storage solution by tucking a basket or two in the bottom cubbies.

A director floor lamp to cast an inviting glow.

I could add texture by sticking an oversized plant in the mix and housing it in one of these mid-century modern planters.

Ya gotta have a mirror so you can check your look before leaving.

And maybe a large print in a gold frame for the DRAMA.

Finally, I’d like to add this piece to my bar cart (which is what you see as you walk down my self-created entryway) because I’ve considered tons of small wine racks and I always land back at this one.

For little touches – I’m all about a giant candle with sweet matches at the ready, succulents nestled in terra cotta pots, and maybe a thrifted crate to house muddy shoes.

How have you decorated your entryway? Tell me in the comments! 

P.S. Since we’re renting this home, I’m following these tips.

We moved! (+ an empty house tour)

Hi friends! I am finally coming up for air after our big move to Alabama!! I certainly didn’t mean to be absent from the blogosphere for this many days… But between the multi-day drive (our movers were SUPER late and that put us behind schedule), getting settled in the new house, AND going without internet for the first week (obvi not by choice!!)–it’s taken me a minute to get back in the swing of things!

But now I’m back! And comin’ atcha from a sweet lil blue-doored house on a quiet road in Alabama. While our furniture arrived just a day after we did (the moving company told us it could take as many as 7!), I thought it might be fun to show ya around the place as we saw it on our first day. *Apologies in advance for the poor photo quality and lighting.*

Living Room

We brought our tv and a couple camp chairs just in case our furniture didn’t arrive right away. Now that our couch is here, it is oriented in much the same way (but the tv is on a stand and up against the wall, lol). I’ve chosen to use the space you see behind Chet as a sort of entryway.

Kitchen

The kitchen is super bright and open with room for a table and chairs beneath a window. And can we talk about that subway tile? Obsessed. The storage space is a little lacking compared to our last place but we’ve gotten creative with solutions — including getting one of these guys to fill up some open wall space. Wink likes the flooring. 😉

Chet’s Office / Guest Room #1

This closet situation means the master bedroom closet is ALL MINE! Mwahahaha! This room is at the front of the house with all sorts of beautiful trees right outside the windows.

My Office / Guest Room #2

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have a space for my desk/computer that isn’t about a foot from where I sleep at night!!! This room looks out at the backyard and is bright and quiet and as far away from our bedroom as possible (work from home WIN!).

Laundry

Another huge upgrade for us? Our very own washer and dryer right behind those closet doors! (The open door is the guest bathroom.) Sure our apartment in Miami had access to laundry facilities on every floor but a) it was $3.00 to wash and dry a load and b) everyone and their mom wants to do laundry on Sunday afternoons…and now I won’t have to wait my turn.

Master Bedroom

Finally, our master bedroom! This room proved to be a bit of a conundrum once our bedroom suite arrived. It is very rectangular and I’ve only ever set the furniture up in more square spaces. So, the bed and dresser have to go side by side. Not sure I love it…but the movers assured me lots of people do it this way, LOL! I DO love the room though…and that giant closet.

And there you have it! While much of our furniture and *stuff* is set up at this point, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to decorating! The first area I want to tackle is the entryway as you come into the house through the front door. Shall I show you an update once it’s complete???

Oh, and since I have home decor on the brain, I’d love to know —

Where do you go online for home decor inspiration? Any favorite blogs or YouTube channels? Any tips for decorating a home on a budget? What are your favorite stores? LEAVE IDEAS BELOW! I’d appreciate it a lot! ❤ 

Office Design Tricks to Up Your Productivity Levels

*This post contains affiliate links.*

The place you choose to work makes such a big difference to your productivity levels. Thankfully, if you work from home, you have maximum creative control to design your work-space exactly as you see fit. (Score!) In this post, I’m gonna lay out some aspects of home office design that will make your home work-space a hive of productivity. Many of these changes are simple and don’t require a huge investment, while others may take a little more time and expense. Find the fixes that work best for your working flow and budget…

Light the Way

Office lighting can make such a big difference when it comes to your productivity. Bad lighting can lead to headaches, fatigue, eye strain, and tiredness. Conversely, natural light can play a big role in boosting your mood. So consider positioning your desk nearby a window where it is going to attract as much sunlight as possible. Rather than having one main overhead source of lighting, having a lamp or two allows you to adjust the brightness as necessary.

Alabaster Mini Orb Lamp // Globe String Lights // Petite Perla Chandelier

Ergonomically Check Your Chair and Desk

If the position of your chair and desk ends up leading to neck and back pain, this is inevitably going to impact your productivity levels. There are a couple of quick ergonomic checks which are easy to perform. First of all, the top of your computer screen should be around eye-level. Your feet should either be able to rest comfortably on a foot rest or on the floor. Make sure that your chair is slightly reclined to minimize lower back pain. Investing in a good-quality chair is one of the best purchases that you can make for your office.

Mesh Desk Chair // Gaiam Balance Ball Chair // Adjustable Foot Rest

Sights, Smells and Sounds

Your senses all come into play when you are creating a comfortable office space. Starting off with what you’ll spend the day looking at — the room color. Studies have shown that the color blue helps with productivity. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s a shade which isn’t too harsh on the eyes. You can also hang some pictures to give yourself something fun (and maybe motivational) to look at during the day.

Interior Paint in Blue Bayou // Calming Art Print // Ayo Mirror

You may never have thought much about the smell of your office, but the right scents can actually help to focus your mind and boost your mood. Fresh flowers are a great way to provide a scent in a natural way. It is worth going for some which you can easily smell such as Alii Hawaiian Tropical flowers. Another option is to use candles or essential oils. Otherwise, you could always try simmering a few herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your whole house with pleasant smells.

Hawaiian Flowers // Stress Relief Candle // Stone Essential Oil Holder

The type of noise which works best for your productivity levels varies from person to person. Some people prefer complete silence. In which case, it is worth looking into soundproofing options in the room. Others like to have some background music, so it check out wireless speakers so you can cut back on the need for wires criss-crossing around the room.

Sound Proof Panels // Noise Cancelling Headphones // Wireless Speaker

Clutter Clearing

While you may create a lot of clutter in the creative process, you should make it a habit to store away the things that you need and throw everything else away. Mess is generally not helpful when it comes to productivity levels. Make sure that you have enough storage systems to contain everything comfortably. And don’t forget your digital clutter as well. The best way I’ve found of keeping on top of your clutter (actual AND digital) in a home office is to schedule time each week to organize. Pick a day and time and jot it down in your diary weekly. You’ll likely just need a half hour or so each week to go through papers, computer files, etc and get it all sorted. Consistency is key!

Poppin 3-Drawer File Cabinet // Paper Organizers // Wire Wall Grid

Bring in Nature

There are plenty of ways that you can bring nature into your indoor office space. We already talked about fresh flowers, but house plants are also a great option. They will last longer and are usually straightforward to maintain. Open the window on a regular basis to allow fresh air into your office space. If you can’t see anything natural outside, the next best thing is to put up some “nature pictures” – think: a picture of you and a loved on a recent hike in a pretty frame on your desk or a painting of the sea!

5 x 7 Frame // Gradient Cement Planter // Mid-Century Turquoise Planters 

Achieve an Optimum Temperature Balance

Achieving the right temperature balance is one of the best ways of boosting your productivity levels. Studies have shown that people tend to work better when it is a little warmer inside, but you don’t want to make it SO warm so that you feel drowsy. A smart thermostat will give you maximum control over the temperature in your office. And you can always bring in some extra heaters or fans when you feel like you need to adjust the temperature up or down.

Nest Thermostat // Urbanjet Desk Fan // Portable Radiator

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating a work-space that provides maximum productivity levels. Essentially, you need to create an environment which works best for you. No two people work in the same way, so it is important to learn as much as you can about your own working habits. Good luck!

Do you work from home? An office? What changes have you made to your working space to increase productivity? 

How to Spruce Up Your Neutral Rental

When it comes to home decor, you can’t go wrong with light neutrals. Shades like light grey, beige, or even plain white can all bounce the light around making any space look bigger or brighter- plus the colors work with any style of decor. In my vast rental experience, landlords love painting their properties this way as it appeals to the most amount of tenants, allowing them to get people in and renting their places as quickly as possible. However, while there are great benefits to a neutral, blank canvas- it can feel very impersonal and can take a bit of sprucing up to make it feel like YOUR home.

Here are some of the ways you can liven up a rental without changing those neutral walls and flooring…

Add Wall Decoration

Landlords can be funny about their tenants putting holes in the walls, so it’s worth speaking to them first and getting permission. (If you’re not allowed to make holes, you can always use command hooks.) You could hang anything from a piece of art that you’ve carefully selected to a gallery wall made up of framed prints that you switch up every few months. Either way, wall decor is an easy way to add personality to a room without paint or wallpaper. Round out the look with a statement clock and a mirror, these will also break up the bland walls but they’re of course functional, too!

Choose Statement Furniture

When the rest of your decor is  plain, you have the freedom to be a bit more adventurous with other items and your furniture is one place you can go wild. How about choosing a statement coffee table, or upcycling your tv unit or sideboard for a unique look? A plain sofa might be best as it’s an investment piece that will need to stand the test of time. But pair it with a brightly colored or patterned chair or a funky footstool. Choose one or two key pieces to stand out and go with bold and unusual styles. A fantastic way to show off your personality!

Think About Lighting

Lighting is something that’s often overlooked and left as an afterthought when it comes to decor, but it shouldn’t be. Lighting is such an important element, and it’s another way you can inject a little extra personality into the room. It could be anything from a chandelier to an industrial looking fitting with exposed bulbs. And don’t forget to add lamps! If you purchase smart bulbs, you can adjust the brightness and warmth of any room’s glow right from your phone. Plus, colorful or interesting lamp bases, shades, or both can bring in a little extra something to a room that’s decorated in neutral colors.

Consider Accessories

Your accessories are what will bring the room together, show your style and allow your personality to come through. Add cozy cushions and throws to spruce up sofas, chairs and beds. Patterned or colored rugs to make floors feel more comfortable and to tie rooms together. Let your interests and hobbies shine through! Whether that includes a place to display your geode collection, a Viking axe hung on the wall, or a beautifully aquascaped aquarium! Don’t just choose things for the sake of it, instead have a good think about not only what will work well in the space but what really reflects YOU. Your home should be a curation of the things that you love. Just remember – it’s quality over quantity when it comes to things out on display.

Add Plants

Any home (whether a rental or not) will benefit from the addition of plants! Not only does the color and texture liven up a home but they’ve even been shown to boost mood. You could go with some larger standing varieties in pots, a few mini cactus, smaller plants on tables and desks, and hanging plants. If you’re bad at keeping plants alive, go for low maintenance varieties, or there’s even some rather realistic-looking faux varieties on the market these days. Vases of flowers are another option. You can buy bunches from supermarkets very cheaply, and they will brighten your home for days! Plus, it’s a fun way to treat yourself. 

How have you spruced up a neutral rental without upsetting your landlord?! 

A Rustic Bohemian Inspired Balcony

Ol’ Punxsatawney Phil just predicted 6 more weeks of Winter. Yikes! But down here in South Florida it’s the perfect temperature to lounge outside. In the Summer months, it’s way too hot to think about hanging out on our balcony. But now that the days are getting longer, and there are more hours of sunlight to take advantage of, it’s the perfect place to be. I guess you could say Phil’s decree is a GOOD THING for us. (Sorry guys!) Bring on the additional balcony weather!

In honor of this auspicious Groundhog’s Day, I thought I’d do some make-believe interior decorating. I’d love to give our outdoor space a makeover in a Rustic Bohemian Style. Our balcony is narrow, but runs the whole length of our apartment, and is completely screened in (no bugs!). The view is mostly of other buildings but when the sun sets, there’s still lots of colorful sky to behold. Oh, and of course palm trees a’plenty!

Here’s what I’d add to give the space a boho reboot with a touch of rustic charm…

A terra cotta and brass moon to hang on the wall and watch over us.

A set of roman shades to keep the afternoon sun out of our eyes (and nosy neighbors out of our business).

A wooden bowl to store a stack of limes for evening gin & tonics.

A throw pillow or two to make furniture feel like a cozy oasis.

A couple of planters shaped like cubes to house our plant friends.

A thrift-store-find side table that we can “antique” with a coat of paint and a few squares of sandpaper.

A gaggle of colorful tealight holders to really set the mood.

And an outdoor sectional that’s just as comfy as a living room couch (with a much better breeze!).

What styles or spaces are inspiring YOUR interior design daydreams? I’d love to hear! 

[IN THE MOOD FOR MORE MAKE-BELIEVE? A PALM LEAF PRINT INSPIRED BEDROOM!]

P.S. Are you following me on TWITTER? Let’s connect.  🙂