4 Home Preparations For Peaceful Summer Living

 Pexels - CC0 License

After the festive season is over and the new year is progressing well, many feel a sense of excitement for what the future warmer weather could bring. The time to celebrate outdoors, to attend events in the sunshine, and to relax in our gardens is almost here. Until then, we get to see Spring gently bloom, which provides a sense of comfort and relaxation like almost nothing else.

Yet it’s also true that peaceful summer living is not necessarily guaranteed. Hot temperatures, intense humidity (depending on where you live), and household preparations are all worth considering ahead of time, and planning for.

But what are those home preparations that count most of all? In this post, we’ll discuss that and more:

Pest Control

The autumn period is when most pests will try to make themselves known in your household - colder temperatures outside and a snug structure are obviously in the interest of anything that walks on four legs or more. But the truth is that pests also find it quite comfortable to nest in the relaxing brickwork or shelter of your home during the summer season. Preparing for that with adequate pest control measures (sometimes this just means protecting crawlspaces or repairing siding) can help you prevent a wider infestation later on down the line. In the long run, pest control can help subvert property damage, and it is cheaper for preventative measures to be implemented now than to fumigate a property later on down the line.

HVAC Installations

It’s worthwhile to ensure your air conditioning system is in top-notch condition before you need to test it. You should clean or replace filters, check for leaks, and schedule professional maintenance if needed - a HVAC service company can provide all of that and more. You can also back up your cooling possibilities by implementing energy-efficient ceiling fans, as these provide circulation of that cool air around the building.

You can also block out the heat by investing in blackout curtains or blinds for sun-exposed windows - this is a very helpful consideration during those hot afternoon naps, especially if you have a baby to look after. Additionally, seal any gaps or cracks in doors and windows to prevent cool air from escaping, as strange as it sounds, letting hot air in from outside can be a bad idea.

Prepare Those Shaded Outdoor Areas

There’s nothing quite like a relaxing exterior area to rest in, and it’s more than possible to enjoy yours too with a little planning. You can start by placing outdoor umbrellas, canopies, or gazebos, to provide relief from the sun's intensity. Perhaps this year you hope to read more often, and so design a perfect reading corner with a beautiful overhead shelter and sun lounger to enjoy your time in the garden.

Consider incorporating natural elements like trees or tall plants that can offer both shade and a refreshing ambiance too. It will help you gain the privacy you need. You can also invest in further outdoor furniture with built-in shades, like a parasol in your garden bench or table, allowing for outdoor meals with your family. Being able to spend time outside without feeling uncomfortable in the exterior lighting can be an essential element of feeling well and looking good.

Add Fresh Greenery

There’s a lovely vibrance that comes from adding greenery to your household, and preparing or planning out how your arrangements will be made is a great deal of fun. Besides adding that beautiful new aesthetic appeal, indoor plants can greatly improve air quality and a sense of tranquility in line with that. In other words, your home just feels so much more serene with a nice display of flowers or green plants, especially indoors. With that and your French doors open, it’s as if you invited the outside in.

Choose plants that are easy to maintain in indoor conditions and require minimal maintenance, such as snake plants, peace lilies, or even cacti depending on your tastes. Position them well in well-lit areas to benefit from natural sunlight, or use frames like wall garden hangers to help you nurture their presence. Not only will they look gorgeous, but they help define the character of your home, even helping it look new and refreshed year on year. After the winter period where little grows, bountifully welcoming the summer season with plants can be a wonderful use of your time.

With this advice, you’re certain to make those home preparations for better and more peaceful summer living. Enjoy!


How To Make Your Backyard Perfect For Outdoor Dining

There’s something so lovely about eating outside, whether it’s a barbecue, a picnic, or a full dinner party eaten al fresco. Whether it’s being out in the fresh air, being in good weather, or the fact that everyone just seems more at ease and happier when the sun’s shining and the birds are singing, the more you can eat outside, the better; studies have even shown that it’s a healthy thing to do. 

However, it’s not so great if your backyard isn’t a particularly nice place to be, which is why it’s a good idea to try to make your backyard perfect for outdoor dining - in that way, the entire experience will be a more positive one, and you’ll get a lot more out of it. With that in mind, here are some things you need to do. 

Photo by Kampus Production

Get Good Furniture

You can eat on the grass. You can eat in a deckchair. You can bring a dining chair from inside and place it on your patio or serve your food on a paste table. But these are not comfortable options, and they’re not always practical. 

If you want to make your backyard perfect for outdoor dining, it’s a good idea to invest in something long-lasting and durable that looks fantastic; that’s where teak garden furniture comes in. Buying furniture that’s designed to be used outside means it’s going to be able to withstand all kinds of weather, and it means that you and your guests will be a lot more comfortable - no more scrambling about for any seating you can find. 

Add Some Shade

We’ve talked about how lovely it is to be out in the sun, and that is true, but it’s not a healthy thing to do in the long term, and it’s not comfortable either. The sun’s UV rays are actually dangerous, and you’ll generally end up with a sunburn if you’re not careful. On top of that, long-term exposure can lead to skin conditions, including cancer - even if you wear sunscreen, the dangers are still there. And even if there wasn’t a danger involved, who wants to be out in the direct sunshine while they’re eating? Not many people is the answer. 

So that’s why you need to add some shade. Firstly, shade in the form of a canopy, parasol, or perhaps some clever planting, will keep you, your family, and your guests comfortable and safe. Secondly, you’ll be able to protect the food too - keeping food out in the sun can make it go bad and become dangerous to eat. 

Install Lighting

Sunny summer days do seem to last for a long time, and that’s wonderful, but the sun will set eventually, and the last thing you want is to be sitting outside in the dark (and it will also usually get colder once the sun disappears and the moon takes its place). 

A solution is to install lighting outside. You can hardwire the lighting into your home’s electrics (or get an expert to do it), or you can choose solar-powered lighting, which means no wires are needed at all. With good lighting, you can enjoy more time outside in the company of friends and family, eating good food, and if you add some heaters to the mix, you’ll all be very comfortable. 


5 Ways to Spend More Time Outdoors

 There are plenty of reasons why people spend more time indoors than they used to in the past. We work long hours that keep us indoors, we spend more time on our devices than ever, and many of us have plenty of television shows to keep up with. Plus, our homes are expensive, which means we’re inclined to get our money’s worth. 

With that all said, it’s important to spend time outdoors. It’s good for our physical and mental well-being, and it can also just provide the space we need to think big. Below, we’ll look at some useful tips for decreasing your time on the couch and increasing your time outside.

Pexels - CC0 Licence

Find a Hobby

You’ll be much more inclined to go outside if you have a hobby that you enjoy. For example, people who love hiking or cycling are out in the great outdoors each weekend. Having a hobby will allow you to subconsciously fall in love with nature. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can decrease anxiety and enhance happiness, and you’ll get those benefits just by being there. So look up some outdoor hobbies, see which one appeals, and give it a try. 

Start a Vegetable Garden

There’s oh-so much to love about having your own vegetable garden. It changes your connection to food and also simply provides your household with delicious, fresh vegetables that come with maximum taste and nutrients. Plus, it’ll push into your yard, even on those overcast days when you’d rather be inside. You can start a vegetable garden in a garden of your yard, but it’ll be best to buy a quality greenhouse — that’ll allow you to extend your growing season and grow a greater variety of vegetables. 

Invest in All-Weather Clothing

You can understand why people don’t want to go outside when it’s overly hot or cold. During those moments, it’s much more tempting to stay in a climate-controlled environment. However, that could mean that you’re staying inside way more than you would like to, especially in the chilly winter months. The solution? Invest in the right clothing. You’ll be happy enough to venture out into those cold-weather days when you’re all snuggly and warm inside your arctic-ready clothing. 

Walk Whenever Possible

Most people automatically get into their vehicle whenever they have to go somewhere. But there will likely be scenarios when you don’t have to drive. If the store is 10 minutes away, then it’ll be better to take a nice and leisurely stroll and back, rather than drive. We’ve become programmed to think of ways to optimize our time, but in some cases, it’s better to let go of the desire to control time occasionally and do things that feel right — such as taking a stroll.

Make it a Priority

We’re all guilty of falling into the habit of staying indoors. By making spending time outdoors a priority, you’ll open yourself up to all that’s enjoyable about it, including happier moods, less anxiety, and more elevated thoughts. 


The Heroes Among Us: Trekking From Obesity To Health

 You've seen them, those everyday heroes who take on the most challenging journeys. Challenging yourself to drastically change your life when you're obese is perhaps one of the hardest and most grueling things you can attempt in life. You can think of it as a process similar to trekking up a dangerous mountain, the journey to the top is arduous, but the view from the summit is breathtaking and worth every step. This journey, often invisible to many, starts with a single, brave step – a decision to transform their lives.

Via Pexels

The Power Of Perseverance

Imagine waking up each day, facing the hurdles that once seemed insurmountable, now within your grasp and under your control. This is the mental shift you need to make before you even attempt to take on this change. You have to have an unwavering commitment that you are the master of this ship and you're setting sail for a worthy destination. Those who've done it embrace lifestyle changes, not as temporary diets, but as permanent shifts in their way of life. They understand that true change doesn't happen overnight; it's an incremental process, paved with perseverance, determination and sometimes suffering.

Navigating Challenges: More Than Just Weight Loss

Unfortunately, this path is riddled with challenges that go beyond shedding pounds. It's about overcoming emotional barriers, redefining self-identity, and building a resilient mindset. The physical transformation is visible, but it's the emotional and psychological transition that truly defines their heroism. They learn to view food not as a foe but as fuel for their journey, transforming their relationship with what's on their plate. Similarly, they embrace fitness as steps to build their strength and resolve, as opposed to pure suffrage. 

The Community Factor: Finding Strength In Others

Those people who've successfully achieved health from a past of obesity, are those that refused to isolate themselves. The importance of a supportive community in this journey is massive in keeping you on track. Being a person means that you're not perfect. And you can't expect a flawless performance en route to success. You must realize that this is not a solitary trek. Share your heart with your family and friends, make sure that they know you rely on them to help and support you through this journey, and that no matter what, they need to help you toe the line all the way to the top.

When The Journey Transforms You

As pounds are shed and health is regained, these heroes often find themselves in new, uncharted territories. Their newfound energy and confidence propel them to explore hobbies and passions that once seemed out of reach. The transformation becomes more than physical; it's a rebirth of possibilities.

Embracing The New You: Life After Major Weight Loss

After significant weight loss, it's common to be left with excess skin, a reminder of the journey traveled. This is where exploring options for skin removal surgery can be empowering. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about bringing the physical transformation in line with the internal one. In a very real sense, this step can be a final act of liberation from the past. If you're curious, why not learn more about your candidacy here? It could be the final piece in your transformation puzzle.

The heroes trekking from obesity to health, are the embodiment of courage and resilience. Your stories aren't just about weight loss; they're about the triumph of the human spirit over life's toughest challenges. You remind us that with determination, support, and self-belief, any journey, no matter how hard, can be won.


My 2024 wish for you:

I wish you would understand that your worth is determined by the size of your heart - Not the size of your waist. 

I wish you would realize that you are not defined by the letters after your name, or the letters before it.

I wish you would understand that your place in this world is not determined by the number on your paycheque. Or the one on your scale. 

I wish you would stop chasing those who are only there for you because of what you can bring to the table. I wish you would seek out those who would love you equally, whether you are at the table... Or whether you are in the trenches. 

I wish you would realize that much of the weight you are carrying on your shoulders is not yours to carry. I wish you would understand that passing it over does not make you weak. Nor insignificant. 

I wish you would end the self talk that your only valuable worth is in what you do; in how hard you hustle. I wish you would see that success is best measured in the things that you do that don’t make you money.

I wish you would acknowledge all your feelings: the hard, the sad, the heavy. I wish you would give yourself permission to sit in them, and feel them all. And I wish you would then give yourself permission to release them. (*see above. it’s not your weight to carry)

I wish you would allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to find people. Like, good people. People that just won’t love you for a season, but will stay and ride the train with you forever. Show them who you are. Like, who you really, really are. They will love you. I promise. 

I wish you would wear the dress that hugs your curves. I wish you would drink the wine that you’ve been saving. I wish you would enjoy the sunset that you don’t take the time to stop and breathe in.

I wish you would allow yourself permission to take up space.

I wish you would stop forcing yourself to stay small. 

I wish this new year gives you new happiness, new joy, new meaning. 

I wish that, three hundred and sixty five days from now, you can say that you lived in twenty twenty four. 

Not just existed - You lived. 

And I hope that you will pat yourself on the back for it all. The big, and the small. Actually, especially the small. 

Happy 2024, my friends. 

I hope this year is everything you want it to be. x

© Take A Walk In My Shoes. Design by FCD.