I have lived in a lot of houses and just about every type. Until very recently, I had never lived in one with a conservatory. I like to call ours the sun room but of course the winter months are just around the corner. I am considering how to warm up my conservatory when the sun is not putting in an appearance from painting UPVC doors to starting a cushion collection.
I like the conservatory partly because there are no screens in there of any kind. It is my view is that phones, computers and televisions are taking over our lives way too much to the detriment of making good family memories. So I definitely want to use the room all year round especially as it has beautiful views over the garden and forest. What are the options for making a sun room have a warmer feel when the freezing temperatures strike?
I have found out that so much heat is lost through our windows and of course we have lots of these in the sun room I am considering the benefits of window shutters both for keeping us warm and also because some look really good. They can be pricey though so I may not be buying them anytime soon.
Spray painting doors and windows
Why are so many sun rooms so white? Ours if basically glass or white everywhere which does not add a warm feel. I like the idea of restoring our sun room with some warmer colours by arranging for the spray painting of the doors and windows. If I used the services of The Restoration Group I would inject some comfort but also express our individuality more.
The sunshine gives a lovely light in the summer but I plan for the conservatory to be a cosy hideaway in the coming months. I am going to look for some lovely lamps to give ambient light. My husband has also suggested us using candles and I guess these would give off a little extra heat too.
We have a white tiled floor in the conservatory so it will need the addition of warmer colours soon. I like the floor in the warmer months so I don’t want to invest in carpet and underlay. However, I think some rugs in oranges and purples may be in order.
Cushions and throws
I am going to go on a shopping spree to invest in some seasonal cushions. I quite fancy some with deer on them for some reason. I will add in some vibrant colours including reds. Finally whether my husband likes it or not, there will be some fleecy throws in the mix. I will drape some over the wicker furniture which can look harsh in winter and also snuggle up with the children under some others.
Do you have any tips for using your conservatory in the colder months?
I am looking forward to life over 50 and I think you can too. My milestone birthday comes up in December and I really do see it as an occasion to celebrate life to date and to make plans for the future. Here are 5 reasons why I am feeling positive as I approach the second half of my life.
It has taken me a lot of years to learn to love and accept who I am. I was always the child who did not quite fit in and was bullied. I was the teenager who did not break too many boundaries. I think as you get older you realise you really are all you have got so you may as well look in the mirror and become your own best friend. It’s amazing how when you really nail this, the world seems to buck up its ideas and start loving you back.
I admit that I have not found the whole parenting gig easy to handle. I was very naïve about what it involved and the restrictions it places on you both work and leisure wise. As the children are nearly all in their teens, I can do my own thing more. If I have a life of my own, they also have time and space to become the individuals they are without me breathing down their necks. In the last couple of years I have worked out I can create my own reality and pursue my dreams.
Investing in myself
It is good that I have put other family members first over the years but self-care is vital too. I have learned this the hard way and experienced depression largely brought on by self-neglect I think. I ensure that I give myself regular little treats now as rewards for my hard work. I am designing my birthday celebrations so that they are exactly what I want and because I know my husband will not put a huge effort in. He is not a fan of birthdays but I am not going to allow that to hold me back this year.
I have already started taking on new adventures with gusto. I made a major relocation a year ago and am so much happier in my new community. I have a social life that simply did not exist before. I want to continue to explore new places and to travel a lot. I would like to learn how to arrange flowers remembering that I have always dreamed of running a floristry business. I am not ruling out having more romance in my life either as I do believe there is life after 50.
Learning from my own mum
My mum only had 3 children but there were 17 years between us which meant she spent a long time giving her all to us. She also was heavily involved in her local community and church. I remember how my Auntie used to beg her to go on girlie weekends to London and how my mother would always turn down the opportunity. She ended up making herself ill by doing too much. Then she switched things up a bit and said yes to London. She returned full of fun stories and it started a new mum who travelled the world and got out and about locally too.
I think it is right to commit to our families especially when they are younger but then we can take a second wind and cherish life after 50.
Light is so important to me which means that finding the right windows in a home is important too. Today I am highlighting the benefits of sash and casement windows.
I am very familiar with sash windows as these were what we had in my childhood homes. The slide on these were vertical which is more common than the horizontal slide versions. I love sash windows because they allow so much air to come in which is great in warmer weather but also for freshening up the house generally. Sash windows have thicker frames as they are more complex and tend to be that bit pricier than casement windows.
Casement windows open outwards by means of hinges on either the side, top, or bottom of the frame. My windows at college were casement windows. I used to love throwing my casement windows open and people-watching. Apparently if the window has a top are called awning designs and if they have bottom hinges they are called hoppers.
Changing the style of your windows
If you feel like ringing the changes with your windows, think carefully. Check with your local planning authority whether you are actually allowed to do so. Listed buildings, houses in National parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) usually come with planning restrictions. Also consider if you want to be very different from the houses around you or to fit in.
Do get a number of quotes for the work involved in changing your windows and ensure all costs of installation are included in the quote so don’t get any nasty financial shocks.
There are trends in windows as in all choices for our homes. Both sash and casement windows have stood the test of time. Just ensure you have checked out planning permissions and have a firm idea of costs and you won’t go far wrong.
In order to enjoy a long and happy life, it is essential that you take care of yourself. Often, people do this by following a healthy diet, working out on a regular basis, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated. All of these factors are important, but there is so much more to consider. In fact, one of the most important factors for you to think about is your mental health. If you ignore this aspect of your personal wellbeing, you will be heading down a dark and dangerous path. Your mental health should be a top priority, not something that you overlook or undermine. If you are ready to embrace this outlook, you will need to take on board the following eight steps. They will help you to improve your mental health and to secure a bright future.
Work your way through any bad habits
Before you do anything else, you will need to work your way through any bad habits. Failing to take this step will make it impossible for you to move forward with your life. How can you expect to improve your mental health if you are repeatedly making bad decisions and putting yourself in harm’s way? Luckily, there is plenty that you can do to turn your life around. For instance, if you are struggling with addiction issues, you will need to visit this website to find a suitable rehab centre. There is no better way for you to get access to the help that you require. Why go it alone, when you could be placing your trust in trained professionals?
Place your trust in a therapist
When you come out of rehab, you should also think about placing your trust in a therapist. Regular meetings with a therapist could provide you with an excellent opportunity to talk through your problems. Instead of coping independently, you will be able to benefit from an outsider’s perspective. You will also be able to share your feelings, without the fear of being judged or criticized. Even if you are doubtful about the benefits of therapy, you should still give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you leave after the first session. However, the best-case scenario is that you find the perfect person to support you on your journey to recovery.
Share your struggles with your friends and family
In addition to talking to a therapist, you should also try to share your struggles with your friends and family. How much you share will depend on the kind of relationship you have with your loved ones. It might be that you are extremely close with your social circle and feel comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings. However, it could be that you already have strained relationships that you don’t want to put under too much pressure. Either way, it is important that you keep your loved ones in the loop. Sharing just the basic details of your dilemma should ease the pressure, as you won’t have to worry about putting on a front. You never know, your revelation could actually bring you and your loved ones closer together.
Learn from your past mistakes
If you are going to make drastic changes to your current lifestyle, it is vital that you take the time to learn from your mistakes. This could be something that you discuss with your therapist or your loved ones. It could also be something that you address independently. Why not start by writing a journal? This could be an excellent opportunity for you to reflect on the past. You could also keep a detailed account of your everyday life. Then, whenever you find yourself in an unexpected position, you will have the option of looking back at your thought process. When you do this, you might discover patterns in your behaviour. Perhaps you always make mistakes when you are around a certain person. Or, maybe you tend to spiral out of control when you are placed under too much pressure. Once you have identified these patterns, you will be able to avoid them. Whether you remove toxic people from your life or lighten your workload, you should find yourself heading off in a different direction.
Get plenty of sleep
The next step is to get a good night’s sleep. Although this isn’t all, it takes to transform your mental health, getting enough rest will certainly come in handy. It will boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and prepare you for the challenges ahead. Achieving a deep sleep should also give your mind a welcome break from worrying, as you will be experiencing peaceful dreams, rather than stressful nightmares or the effects of insomnia. That is why you should do everything in your power to achieve at least nine hours of deep sleep every night. Firstly, you will need to evaluate your sleeping space and make sure that it supports your slumber. Then, you will need to invest in noise cancelling earplugs or a white noise machine. Finally, you will need to establish a nighttime regime that helps you to unwind. It might take some getting used to, but eventually, you should be able to achieve your desired amount of sleep.
Work out on a regular basis
Another essential step is to work out on a regular basis. Again, this won’t transform your mental health overnight, but it could help you on your road to recovery. As you work out, you will experience a rush of mood-boosting endorphins. You will also have an opportunity to let go of any pent-up stress or aggression. These benefits are especially valuable if you are going through a tough time, as you won’t have to keep your negative feelings bottled up. Instead, you will be able to channel them into something positive and productive. Just make sure you place a limit on the amount of exercise that you do. You should view your workouts as a fun and healthy pastime, as opposed to an escape that you become dependant on.
Limit your use of social media
You should also limit your use of social media. In this digital age, it is extremely common to spend a lot of time of your time online. This can be a wonderful way to meet new people and to broaden your horizons. On the other hand, spending your time online can result in increased stress levels and a blow to your self-esteem. That is why you should steer clear of websites and social media platforms that trigger unpleasant feelings. You should also aim to spend no more than two hours online per day. This should leave you with enough time to partake in positive activities such as chatting with your friends, reading helpful blog posts, watching informative tutorials, and playing fun games. It should also remove the temptation to stray onto unsettling sites that cause you to have negative thoughts.
Clear your mind and control your breathing
The penultimate step is to clear your mind and control your breathing. One of the best ways for you to do this is by trying your hand at meditation. This is a brilliant way for you to invest in your mental health and your personal wellbeing. Every day you should be meditating for at least twenty minutes. You could include sporadic sessions throughout your schedule. Or, you could squeeze in one long session in the evening. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that you have the chance to escape your everyday life. During your meditation sessions, you shouldn’t even be thinking about your problems. In fact, you shouldn’t be thinking about anything at all. This may seem like a pointless exercise, but as soon as you return to reality, you will notice a clear difference. You will find it easier to work through your problems in a calm and measured way. You will also be able to adopt a positive mindset, without it feeling forced or fake.
Don’t take on more than you can handle
Last but not least, it is important that you don’t take on more than you can handle. Whilst you do need to be proactive in improving your mental health, you also need to understand your limitations. You shouldn’t feel under too much pressure to make a change and to turn your life around. Change will happen when you are ready, so it is vital that you are moving at your own pace. Striking the right balance between moving forward and giving yourself plenty of time will help you to reach genuine goals. You should be making changes that will last a lifetime, not temporary fixes that are bound to fall apart. Looking after your mental health is an ongoing process, and it should be treated as such. There is no finish line for you to cross and no final destination for you to get to. Your mental health will always have ups and downs, so it is vital that you are willing to put the work in.
The end of the summer holidays does not mean the end of family adventures. Are you ooking for something different to do with your family that will get you all active and enjoying quality time together? Let’s face it both adults and children are spending far too much time attached to screens these days. You could consider getting involved with an extreme sport to boost health and communication while creating solid family memories!
But which activity will be the best for your family? Many of us are going out of our comfort zones when trying new adventures so where do we start? From what equipment you need and safety processes you should be aware of, to relevant trivia and a look at the origins of each sport, Chill Factore, home to the UK’s longest indoor real-snow slope for family days out in Manchester, explores the nation’s best extreme sports for families.
Despite not being the sportiest child I did enjoy climbing both at the local sports centre and when out and about. Rock climbing is an adrenaline-pumping activity that is excellent for getting kids fully engaged in sport both indoors and out.. Rock climbing started to become a loved sport around the end of the 1800s, with the Lake District considered one of three, major ‘birthplaces of rock climbing.
Of course, as popularity for the sport grew in the 1940s and 1950s, so did the demand for safety equipment and climbing aids, which made the activity more accessible for younger people and families. From steel carabiners to nylon ropes, technology has helped to propel rock climbing into mainstream sport. Today, you can climb all over the UK — both at indoor venues and on outdoor walls — and the sport has grading system that rates the difficulty of a climb and the climber’s skill to help make the sport even safer. This is hugely reassuring to parents when our children are taking up the sport.
Benefits of rock climbing for families
Builds upper and lower body strength.
Enhances problem-solving skills (i.e. considering the best route for reaching the top).
Rock climbing as a family
I am a big believer in bringing in the experts when starting something new.If you’re just starting out, make sure you choose an instructing company with a high customer rating — especially for safety and teaching. The Association of British Climbing Walls is a good place to start if you’re looking for a climbing wall in your area.
In rock climbing, you’ll notice that you use your lower limbs more than your upper limbs — great to boost fitness and strength but may be tough for little ones at first. Although you and your family will improve in time, it may be worth opting for a few indoor sessions until you’re all confident with the height and physical strain. Once your family feels ready and has learned a few techniques, why not book an outdoor climbing session? There are lots of packages at popular landmarks across the UK and you can even make it into a weekend away. You can bet you will make some magical family memories so get out there and reach for the skies.
Snowkiting — or kite skiing — is an exciting winter sport that is growing in popularity. Generally, the snowkiting season runs from October until June, with the best time to go snowkiting being around Christmas time — ideal for a winter sun or festive family break with a difference. In snowkiting, your family will use the power of a kite to board or ski over snow. After time, you can learn to pull off big jumps and land with ease, plus you have the opportunity to snowkite over frozen lakes which offers an unforgettable experience.
Snowkiting has been around for only a few years as a serious sport, but it was born out of a fusion of snowboarding and the growing demand by sporting fans for foil kites (an aeroplane wing shaped cloth structure). Although the US and France are both touted as being the sport’s origin, snowkiting is now available across Europe and North America in resorts such as Tirol and Haugastøl.
Benefits of snowkiting for families
Improves balance and coordination.
Allows you to breath in fresh, unpolluted air.
Uses all major muscle groups.
Snowkiting as a family
Booking a winter getaway is a great way to beat the seasonal blues as nights get darker and kids head back to school. You could think about snowkiting but bear in mind that this is not a simple activity to master and there are risks involved. It is vital to only book a session that is designed for youngsters by a reputable company.
Snowkiting is an intense aerobic activity and you can easily overheat. Wear layers including a helmet and snow shoes that you can easily remove and put back on. You’ll also need goggles and gloves to make sure your vision is not impaired, and your hands stay warm and easy to move. There are excellent kids’ snow gear available online but check with the snowkiting company first to see if you can simply hire what you need on the day.
In snowkiting, you can wear a board or skis, so ask your child which they feel more comfortable wearing to help them get to grips with the sport. It also might be a good idea to book your child a few extra snow lessons at a venue in the UK prior to your holiday to make sure they’re refreshed on how to hold themselves on the slopes! Nobody wants a stressed child or tantrums when you have invested in a winter break.
Rafting is a top extreme sport for families. Encouraging team work and a great way to explore British waterways and countryside, it’s no surprise that families opt for rafting experiences to enjoy quality time together. Lots of fun is guaranteed when you get out and about on rivers and lakes.
Brits have rafted for decades and you can book rafting excursions from a huge range of watersports companies and tours. The British Canoeing organisation — the UK’s national governing body for paddlesports — has been around since 1936, while the International Scale of River Difficulty is adopted by most nations to rate rapids to help keep rafters safe.
With destinations like the River Tummel in Scotland, Tryweryn River in Wales and River Derwent in England; there’s no need to pay for flights abroad with this extreme sport. The UK is filled with waterways and sailing is obviously a huge part of British history. But did you know that the first rubber river raft was invented nearly 200 years ago by US soldiers?
Benefits of rafting for families
Helps boost communication, as your family must speak clearly to each other to navigate the boat.
Allows for family bonding — no time for, or place to keep, phones and tablets on board.
Enhances self-esteem and gives a feeling of accomplishment. You and your family can track your journey and take on key roles on board to make sure you reach the end safely.
Rafting as a family
But what do you need to bear in mind when it comes to rafting with your family? Obviously, there are some risks involved with rafting, so we’d always recommend making group bookings that provide an on-board instructor. If you haven’t done this sport before, you’ll need to wear synthetic layers (e.g. long-sleeve shirts and trousers), life jacket, windproof jacket, and helmet. Renting a wetsuit might be a good idea, too, and you’ll need to make sure you have rescue throw bags, if your rafting company doesn’t provide you with these.
I think rafting appeals most to our family. Which extreme adventure will you try first?ad