How To Make Your Patio Your Own Personal Sanctuary

Having a sanctuary all to yourself, especially after having a busy week is something that a lot of people want. Having one in your home would be more awesome. A personal sanctuary at your home can help you relax and rejuvenate over the weekend as you put your feet up on an ottoman sipping your most favorite drink. Your patio can be converted into your own private sanctuary with the following tips:

Create Privacy

Creating a private sanctuary is easy. This can be done with plants and fences. Choose plants that can give you privacy as they grow bigger. Also, you can create privacy by adding fences or walls around your patio. Once this is done, you can then create a private pathway to your patio so you can be the only one who can see it from a certain vantage point. Bright colors such as red, yellow, and orange is a good idea to draw attention to your flowers instead of your private patio. Planting a tree is also a good idea as you can relax under it on a sunny day.

Make Use Of Fun Shapes

Play with geometric shapes and patterns to add interest and fun to your patio. This can still be done even if you already have the usual pavers all over the place. Choose pavers that can be mixed and matched to what you already have. Don’t stick to only one shape or size, but choose a variety. To make your patio look larger, you can add a furniture in your lawn to make the sense of connection. It creates a spacious feel in your patio and lawn.

Choose A Style

There are different styles you can choose from. If you want to have a more contemporary looking patio, then choose contemporary style planters, patio paver design, and other accessories that you want to be placed on your patio. You just have to make sure that everything creates a good harmony. You don’t want to be on a patio that does not make you feel at peace.

Create A Focal Point

Creating a focal point will add elegance and sophistication to your patio. You will not be the only one who will appreciate this, but also your guests and visitors. A formal garden is a perfect backdrop for your patio. Adding a fountain can create a pleasant background sound as you relax in the weekends. Fragrant flowers, such as roses or dahlia, can create a more sensory appeal. Your eyes, ears, and your nose will surely enjoy each sensation from your patio, adding a more relaxing environment to your weekend escape at home.

Make It An Extension Of Your Home

Your patio can be an extension of your home. This will create a sense of continuity. This can be done by using the same furniture and comforts that are also available inside your home. Directly connecting your patio to your home will also create a sense of connectedness. It would also be easier to access your patio if it is connected to your home. An evening retreat to your home will just be a step away from your back door.

Don’t Forget To Personalize

The most important thing that you should remember when redesigning your patio is to make it personal. Make your patio a reflection of who you are and your personality. You can add color your personal effects by painting your patio. Choose fun and bright colors to create a sunny and happy feel. If you want to add more color to your patio, you can also paint your furniture and incorporate it in your patio.

Creating your own sanctuary at home is easy. You just have to plan, choose your own style, create a focal point, make it an extension of your home, and personalize it.

What Food To Eat At What Time To Help Boost Your Energy

The food that we eat determines the energy level that we will have throughout the day. In addition, it also dictates the mood that we will have when carrying out our daily routines at home and at work. With this in mind, it is important to know what food to eat at certain times of the day to ensure an alert morning, a blissful lunch, and a relaxing night.

7 AM: Be Full

If you are feeling hungry in the morning, then that is good news. It means that your metabolism is working well. In the morning, it is important that you don’t skip your breakfast because if you do, your metabolism will be messed up. To be full in the morning, you have to eat an hour after waking up. Aim for a balanced diet, which is composed of fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates. This will help curb your appetite all morning, which has been proven in the study conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia. An example meal that will make you feel full all morning is an oeatmeal with peanut butter and berries or a toast of whole-wheat bread with Cheddar cheese and avocado.

9 AM: Stay Focused

A morning coffee is best when it comes to helping you focus on your work. Three cups a day is good for you. If you are not a coffee person, you can also opt for a cup of green tea. Besides keeping you focused, a cup of green tea is full of antioxidants, which is good for your brain cells. It is also proven that the same antioxidants from green tea (EGCG) can help enhance memory and learning.

11 AM: Avoid Treats

It is normal that you will feel hungry three or four hours after eating breakfast. But, it is advisable that you keep away from cookies or doughnuts to fill your stomach. Instead, grab a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt as it is healthier than its alternatives. It is packed with proteins (15 to 20 grams), which will make you feel full. This will also help reduce and curb your cravings.

1 PM: De-stress

If your morning has been very stressful to you, then lunch time is the time to let go of all the stress. A quinoa salad with zucchini, summer squash, and spinach would be great. The vegetable toppings on your salad are a good source of Vitamin B6, which is very good at stabilizing your mood. It will also help improve your nervous system. Quinoa, on the other hand, is a good source of magnesium, which will help your muscles and blood vessels to relax.

3:30 PM: Boost Your Energy

At this time of the day, it would be normal to feel like having a good cup of sweet latte to help freshen up your mood. Certainly, a bag of chips or candies will also be help battle the stress you have gone through all afternoon. However, it is not a good idea to do so. The caffeine in your latte will keep you up all night, while the sugar in candies can make you even more tired. To boost your energy at this time of day, it is recommended that you eat whole foods like almonds, pecans, walnuts, or a nut-and-fruit bar. These foods will help boost your energy without taking the risk of sleepless nights.

5 PM: Prepare For A Workout

If your daily routine involves going to the gym right after work, then it is necessary that you adequately fuel your body with food that will keep your energy levels up. To do this, you can have a smoothie of milk, berries, and yogurt. This smoothie contains easy-to-digest carbohydrates, which will give you an instant load of energy before going to the gym. Coconut water is also good as it is rich with electrolytes and sugar, which will help pump your way up in the gym.

7 PM: Stay Slim

In the winter, it is understandable that you will be more sedentary in comparison to the other seasons. This is because of the cold temperature. Walking after a meal will surely help burn the calories down at this time of the year, but you can always add chili peppers to your meal to make it happen without going for a walk. The property in chili that makes it spicy, capsaicin, is very helpful in improving your metabolism. This also helps in controlling your appetite.

10 PM: Go To Sleep

If you are having trouble sleeping at night, ask your stomach if it is hungry. If so, then grab a glass of vanilla soymilk to help fill your stomach. It full of carbohydrates, which will help produce tryptophan – the amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin in the body. With serotonin, it will be easy for you to fall asleep. In addition, a glass of soymilk is full of calcium, which is helpful in relaxing your blood vessels. Talk about an extra calming effect!

 

6 Reasons Why You Should Eat Eggs

Eggs could be one of the most basic ingredients found in any kitchen in the world. It is also considered to be a staple on every breakfast table. The reason for this is that is packed with vitamins. It is for this reason that eggs are referred to “nature’s multivitamin source”. They are also good antioxidants and are good for the brain. If you are not convinced, here are six reasons why it is the healthiest food ever discovered.

Reason #1: It is vitamin-packed!

One whole egg in the morning will give you an amazing range of vitamins and nutrients in one meal. You have to remember that one whole egg is equivalent to one whole chicken. It is packed with vitamins, good fats, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients that are needed to feed and create a chick. It contains Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, Selenium, and small amounts of iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, Vitamin E, manganese, Folate, carbohydrates, and others. It also contains 6 grams of quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 77 calories.

Reason #2: It is good for your heart!

A lot of people would recommend not to eat more than three eggs every week as it contains high cholesterol. However, it does not mean that it is bad for your heart. Your liver produces cholesterol on a daily basis. If you eat eggs, which has 212 mg of cholesterol, then your liver can relax and produce less of it. In different studies, it has been shown that eating eggs are actually good for your cholesterol profile. Eggs help increase good cholesterol in the body, and help lower the bad cholesterol. It was also discovered that eggs help reduce resistance to insulin.

Reason #3: It is good for your brain!

Eggs are rich with choline, which is an essential nutrient which is used in different bodily processes. It is used to synthesize acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter and component of a cell membrane. If you have low choline in your body, you are likely to have liver diseases, and diseases related to your cardiovascular system. Low choline in the body is also associated with different neurological disorders.

Reason #4: Eggs are a good source of amino acid and quality proteins!

One of the building blocks of the human body that serves both functional and structural purposes is protein. The human body needs 21 essential amino acids that are needed to keep the body functioning. Nine of these amino acids are being produced inside the human body. The other 12 can be obtained from eating. One of the best sources of this other essential amino acid is the egg. It has been a perfect score of 100.

Reason #5: It is good for the eyes!

Two powerful antioxidants are present in a whole egg which are essential for the eyes. These are Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These essential nutrients are found in the egg yolk. Eating eggs will help reduce the risk of Macular Degeneration and cataracts, which are the two most common vision impairment among the elderly. One study has shown that eating 1.3 egg yolks on a daily basis in the span of 34 days helped increased the number of Zeaxanthin in the blood up to 142%, and Lutein levels up to 50%.

Reason #6: Eating eggs can help you lose weight

This is good news to all individuals who want to lose weight. Eggs don’t contain a high number of carbohydrates, but instead, contain high levels of protein and fat, which are convertible to energy. Protein will also make you feel fuller, which will, in turn, curb your eating routine. It will not make you feel hungry more than usual. In one study that lasted for eight weeks, it showed that eating eggs for breakfast lead to losing 65% of the body weight, losing 16% of body fat, better BMI, 34% less in waist circumference.

As you can see, eating eggs will give you more benefits than not having one. If you don’t like eating eggs with your meals, maybe it’s time to make a change of heart for it is an egg-ceptional food.

4 Reasons Why You Should Never Skip Breakfast

 

Ever heard anyone saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Ever wonder why they claim so?

People does not only say things like this just because they see you skipping breakfast all the time. It is actually a fact that 18 percent and 13 percent of males and females (ages 35 to 54) skip breakfast on a daily basis. This is according to a market study conducted by NDP group in 2011. This may happen because most of these men and women have busy schedules that they forget eating breakfast at home or prefer not to eat anything before going to work. But, this should not be the case. If you want to skip a meal in a day, breakfast should not be it.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t skip breakfast:

  • The risk of diabetes in women. There is a possibility of increasing the risk of diabetes in women if eating breakfast is skipped. This is according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study has revealed that women who skip even one breakfast meal in a week are at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Women who eat breakfast everyday has lower chances of developing one.
  • Lower chances of heart disease. Eating a simple breakfast meal can go a long way. A study published in the journal Circulation suggests that men between the ages of 45 and 82 has lower chances of developing heart diseases if they eat breakfast on a daily basis. If you skip breakfast, there is a higher risk of hypertension, an elevated level of blood sugar, and insulin resistance.
  • Eating breakfast boosts memory. The American Dietetic Association reviewed 47 breakfast-related cases and found out that men and women who eat breakfast have higher cognitive functions compared to individuals who skip it. This means that eating breakfast will make you think faster on your feet. Eating breakfast definitely is a smart move to make!
  • It can help you lose weight. If you don’t really like eating big breakfast, then it is time to have a change of heart and start liking it. One study published in the Obesity journal has shown that big breakfast eaters can lose to an average of 17.8 pounds in the span of three months. That is not a value that you can just ignore. In the study, other participants were told to eat the same recommended amount of calories in a day. However, they eat most of the calories in the evening. The participants who ate most of the calories at dinner only lost 7.3 pounds in the same number of months. That is 10 pounds heavier than the other group. This could be associated with the fact that most of us don’t work and exert a lot of effort at night. Instead of spending the amount of energy that has been taken, the calories are stored in the body overnight.

As you can see, there are different health risk factors associated when you skip breakfast. Maybe it is time to change your routine and have big breakfast meals on a daily basis, rather than skipping it every day.

6 Things To Consider When Buying An Outdoor Rug For Your Patio

outdoor rug in patio

If you already have a patio or are planning to have one constructed, then you should consider adding an outdoor rug to it. Outdoor rugs do not only add aesthetic value to your patio, but also protects your patio from dust, dirt, and moisture in the atmosphere. If you are already shopping for one, then you should find an outdoor rug that serves both aesthetic and hygienic purposes. The tips below should be able to help you out in finding the perfect outdoor rug for your patio.

Look for Flat Weave Rugs

The first thing that you need to consider doing is finding a flat weave rug. This type of rug is flat on both sides, and are reversible. Its reversible functionality extends the life of the rug itself. Because it is flat and does not have fluffy threads like indoor rugs, it is made to withstand a fair amount of foot traffic. Its flat nature does not allow as much shedding as indoor rugs. This minimizes wear and tear. The tight weaving of the rug also makes it durable and stable under the foot. This makes flat weave rugs perfect for the outdoor setting.

Blending Color and Pattern

If you want to stay true to the theme and color of your patio, then you should find a rug that meshes well with your patio’s current theme. You may also want to consider the furniture that you have installed on your patio. However, if you want to accentuate your furniture which is colored white, gray, or black, you can opt for a rug that has a cream stripes all over it. If you can find a rug that has a light blue and cream stripes, then you have hit the jackpot. The light blue color will not be distracting and will mesh well with the colors mentioned. On the one hand, if your outdoor furniture has its natural wood color, then you might consider finding a rug that has the color orange, rust, or red. This creates a welcoming contrast to the natural wood color.

Look for Weather-Resistant Rugs

Because you are placing the rug in an outdoor setting, it is very important that it can withstand different weather conditions. If you plan on leaving your rug outdoor 24/7, then you should find a rug that is moisture-proof. Having a moisture-proof rug with a backing will not allow snow or water from pooling in. For patios that are exposed to more sun than rain, it is recommended to find a UV-resistant rug. This means that your rug can maintain its natural and vivid color even when exposed to direct sunlight for most of the time.

Consider Rugs with Good Grips

Rugs made of jute or sisal, which are usually woven, have good gripping power. The gripping power of a rug is important if you want to keep your indoor rug or floor free of dirt. Woven rugs made of jute and sisal can trap dirt from shoes and boots. Having one placed in your patio will not make you worry about footprints on your hardwood floor, tiles, or rugs. You can place this kind of rug in front of the door so people can wipe their shoes and boots clean. This kind of rug is durable and can last a long time.

Size

How big should your rug be? You can answer this question by getting a tape measure. Find out the length and width of the area where you want to place your outdoor rug. If you are planning on putting your rug under your small patio table, then you can find something that is circular and not too big that it overpowers your small table. A rectangular outdoor rug will help connect all your outdoor furniture. When buying a rug, you just have to make sure that it doesn’t look too big or too small for the area. Excessive bulks are a no-no. You should also make sure that your rug does not fall off the entire patio.

Opt for Easy Maintenance Rugs

Dirt build-up is something that can’t be avoided when it comes to outdoor rugs. However, there are rugs that are easy to maintain and clean. Outdoor rugs that are stain resistant can be cleaned by hosing it down. Rugs weaved with jute and sisal are normally resistant to dirt, which makes these type of rugs very easy to maintain. Flat weave rugs can also be spot-cleaned with a wet cloth or a mixture of water and soft detergent. The good news is you can also buy a fabric protection spray to protect the surface of your rug from stains. If you need the help of professional cleaners to clean and restore the beauty of your rugs, check out Silver Rug Cleaning.

Eating Your Way To A Healthier Weight

healthy diet

Contrary to what is being practiced and what is done by individuals who want to lose weight, it is not necessary for anyone to sacrifice eating in order to obtain a more favorable weight. Eating is an integral part of anyone’s daily routine to fuel any activity. This is true, not only to those working a laborious jobs or those who are not in a diet, but also for those who are trying to lose weight. However, if you know how to eat and what to eat, then you would not worry about gaining your lost weight back.

 

What You Should Eat

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. If you are not much of a vegetable or fruit eater, then it is time to break that habit. Adding fruit and vegetable to your diet will help you in losing weight. If you can’t stand the sight of vegetables in your meal, you can always hide it in plain sight. To have this done, you can have your vegetables pureed and mixed with your usual meal. Research shows that if you add vegetables in your meals, you can easily shed off some pounds because it will automatically cut down your call calorie intake. Vegetables add bulk to your meal. It makes you eat the same amount of food, but it will not make you gain weight because you are replacing your calorie intake with vegetables.

To make your meal look appetizing and exciting to look at, you can always add fruit to it to add color to what is on your plate. Bland looking meals are not so appetizing and appealing. If you are on a diet, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor. Fruits will surely make your meal look more appetizing. You can also add beets, yellow pepper, and fresh produce to your meals to make it look more appetizing.

Fiber-Rich Foods. In addition to adding fruits and vegetables to your meal, you should increase your fiber intake. Foods rich with fiber will make you feel full for a longer period of time. This means that you will not have to eat as frequent as before. This also means that you will not have to grab something to eat in between meals. More often than not, people gain weight from eating unhealthy snacks. Speaking of which, you should get rid of your unhealthy stash. If you want to grab a snack, it is recommended that you eat fruits instead. For a fiber-rich diet, you can start your grocery list with beans, apples, bananas, blueberries, orange, pear, almonds, bran cereal, oats, and the list goes on. If you don’t know a lot of fiber-rich foods, you can easily ask Google to help you out.

Say Goodbye To Your Smoothies and Shakes. Instead of buying smoothies and shakes to fill your stomach on snack times, opt for something that is healthy. Generally, smoothies and shakes are high in calories. However, if you know how to make a healthy smoothie, then by all means make yourself one. If you don’t have time to make a smoothie, you can always grab an apple to keep your stomach fed. A useful bit of information: chewing will tell your brain that you are eating something that is substantial. Thus, eating a whole fruit will make your brain tell your stomach that it has been filled. Taking smoothies and shakes does not have the same effect as eating whole fruits.

Eating Fruits High With Water. Eating fruits with high water content is recommended. Why is this so? Doing so will make you feel full faster. This is the reason why drinking water every time you take spoonful of your meal will make you feel full faster. That is also one trick that you can do to lose weight, but it is not always the same as eating the right food. Studies have shown that people who eat fruit or vegetables with high water content have low BMIs or body mass indexes. Fruit and vegetables with high water content will make you feel full for a long period of time, thus stopping you from eating as much. You may start eating watermelon, which is 92% water, or grapefruit, peaches, and cantaloupes when you feel like eating something in between meals. However, you should also remember that some of these fruits are high in sugar. Thus, you should also watch how much you are eating of these fruits on a daily basis.

The tips mentioned above are some of the many ways that you can do to eat your way to a healthier weight. Other things you can do to lose weight can be easily found online. However, when following tips, you should always be vigilant and do more research before acting on it.

A Nutritionist’s Guide to Healthy Eating

healthy-eating

A healthy, balanced diet is essential in maintaining good health. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not exactly hard to get into a healthy diet. The key is eating a wide range of food items so you get all the nutrients your body needs and consuming the right amount of calories based on your normal activities. Below are practical tips for healthy eating.

  • The FDA recommends that we consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day – at least. It might seem overwhelming, but if you slowly incorporate them into your diet, you’d barely even notice it. Start by eating a banana with your meals, or substituting them for snacks.
  • Canned or frozen, fish is high in protein and many vitamins and minerals. In a week, try to consume at least 3 portions of fish. Make sure to also add oily fish into the mix; these are rich in omega-3 that will keep your heart healthy.
  • It might sound absurd but fat is actually good for the body – that is, the right kind of fats. Stay away from unsaturated fat as this can increase the cholesterol levels of your blood, putting you at a high risk at developing heart disease.
  • Consuming too much salt increases your blood pressure. You might think you’re leading a salt-free diet, but remember that many of the food items in the market today has high sodium content. Thus, you might still be eating a relatively high-sodium diet.
  • You might not realize it but your body might be suffering from mild dehydration because of low water intake. Make sure that you take in at least 1.5 liters of water in a day. Stay away from drinks high in sugar because they have high calorie content and is damaging to the teeth.
  • Many people who want to lose weight have a tendency to skip breakfast, believing that this will save them calories. However, this actually has the opposite effect. A balanced breakfast will supply you all the necessary nutrients to sustain you throughout the day.

Take to heart the tips above and start incorporating them into your daily routine, and see a big, positive difference in no time. Remember that having good health is all up to you; and whatever you eat and do will be very evident in your physical body. Talk to your health provider for more tips for a healthy diet and a healthy body.

Create The Perfect Pond in Your Garden

garden-pond

Among the things I’m most thankful for in my life is the capability to possess my very own home, along with another property. My family is lucky enough to be able to purchase land and build the house of our dreams on it. When I am not busy working, I am most likely tending to my ever-messy house or fussing over grass in the garden. There are few tasks you could find me doing as frequently and a few places in the house where I spend the most time.

I have a weird love and hate affair with these tasks. One one hand, I enjoy looking after the things I own because doing so gives me a sense of satisfaction. On the other hand, it is frustrating just how much time and energy it takes to keep your house and yard looking presentable. But as time-consuming, energy-draining and frustrating as it, I just recently added putting pond in my garden to my to-do list. I must be crazy!

Honestly, I had always regarded ponds as purely decorative pieces and having one in my garden seem like a little bit too much considering I don’t have a formal garden. But I had a change of heart about garden ponds when I visited the house of a friend. I found the most enchanting and fantastic garden pond sitting beautifully in a corner at the edge of her yard.

What I now enjoy about garden ponds is how they bring a touch of Mother Nature into the backyard. It doesn’t matter if you live in urban areas or your house is situated in the countryside, a pond instanly transforms your garden and make it more soothing and natural.

If you are thinking of adding a pond to your landscape, think and plan it carefully. One of the worst things you could do is to rush right into a project without adequate planning.  Identify the possible areas in your garden when you can build the pond and choose which one is the most ideal among these locations. Does the area you’ve picked get enough sunlight? Do you want it to be the central element in your landscape? Or do you need to place it in a corner or off to the side? Imagine how you want your garden to look like. Do you have an on-going theme? What’s your purpose for having a garden pond in the first place? Take your time and ask suggestions from friends and fellow landscape enthusiasta before you begin on your garden pond task. Buy a few magazines or read about garden ponds on the internet.

It won’t be easy, but if executed properly, your garden pond will be worth it.

Simple Patio Furniture Projects

Patio-Furniture

Before you begin a do-it-yourself project for patio furniture, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. One of these considerations is to not become overwhelmed by all of the details. Not every project is complex and there are a variety of possibilities when it comes to DIY projects. The projects listed below are all designed to complete in a week-end and you can have some fun by adding in your own style.

Garden Bar

Outdoor bars are considered an ideal project to really start off your summer in the right way and it is a really easy project to participate in. These bars can be made up from scrap timber or pallets and your bar top could be made out of roof joists and then finished off with some yacht oil.

DIY Hammock

Hammocks are still a favorite for adults and children alike and they are easy to make yourself. To make as DIY hammock you will need fabric, twine, zip-ties, canvas, leather strapping and fabric such as a blanket or a towel.

Comfortable Seating

If you already have an outdoor bench on your patio that lacks comfortable seating, make your own out of wood pallets. These pallets are ideal for such a project and all you need to do is to cut them to the correct size. Place them together and build up the right size seating area.

DIY Bench

To build your own bench for your outdoor patio use a few concrete blocks as the supporting-structure for each side and then insert as many wood slates as you need through them to make up the seating area. To make the seating more comfortable cut a mattress to size and add in a few cushions.

Daybeds

This piece of furniture is also easy to construct out of pallets. Use the pallets to create your sturdy base and then add in a few metal pipes for the side parts of the daybeds frame. You can also choose to use casters to make the piece of furniture easy to move around.

Pallet Swing Bed

It comes as no surprise that you can build just about anything out of wood pallets. To make this project construct a frame a bit bigger than your mattress you intend to use. Now use hooks and ropes to suspend the bed and add in a few cushions and even a blanket.