December through to February really are the deepest, darkest of winter months, and although December is made bearable by the warming glow of Christmas, January and February can be difficult months to get through, with their dark mornings and long, cold nights making it harder to feel our get up and go.
Light is soothing for our souls and whether we’re staying cosy inside with our twinkly lights all lit or out taking in the crisp, fresh air, we need it to make us feel better during the long winter weeks. It’s also beneficial for our health, as the lack of sunlight means that almost 7% of the UK population reportedly suffer from SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder during the winter months. However, the one benefit of winter light is that it can be very bright and clear, so the trick is to maximise on that when preparing our homes for these darker months.
Thankfully, there are a few simple changes you can make in your home that will ensure you reap the benefits of the limited natural light at this time of year and ultimately improve your mood and your general happiness. Here are 5 things to start you off.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of IKEA opening its very first store on the island of Ireland, based here in Belfast. To help celebrate the very successful past ten years of IKEA in Northern Ireland, I was delighted to be invited along to a media breakfast morning, which included a short tour of the store and a celebratory birthday breakfast (Scandi-style, with plenty of coffee and pastries, of course!)
During our store walkabout, we were introduced to some of the interior design team and product specialists who make up the 330-strong team of co-workers based at IKEA Belfast. They revealed the top selling products that have demonstrated how IKEA has had its part in ensuring we live a better everyday life here in NI, as well as a really fascinating insight into how life has evolved dramatically over the past ten years, with developments in technology, the rise in open plan living and a general move towards city-dwelling very much dictating how we live our daily lives at home.
Read on to find out what I learned about the shopping habits of IKEA Belfast customers!
Hello! I don’t know about you, but I’m really starting to feel the Christmas vibes now. The weather is crisp and blustery (with snow on the way!), the tree and decorations are up, the Christmas shopping is well underway. So I reckon it’s high time for my third gift guide to keep up the momentum on your festive shopping!
This week’s gift guide content is probably the one we often overlook or rush into – the small gift for a friend or relative who has kindly invited you in over the festive period. Whether it’s a morning coffee, casual drinks soiree or a candlelit supper for friends, it can be difficult to think beyond the bottle of wine or box of chocolates that we so often grab at the very last minute. That’s not to say these gifts aren’t gratefully received, because I for one love my sweet treats and glass of nice wine, however with a little extra consideration, you can gift your host or hostess something that little bit different that they’ll remember.
All these gift ideas come in under the £20 mark and are also entirely suitable for the ‘difficult to buy for’ person in your life… we all have one of those, don’t we?!
As ever, details of where to buy are included below.
We’re well into Christmas shopping season now that it’s the first weekend in December, so as promised, here’s my second home lover’s gift guide, this time with a more artsy, boho vibe. Perfect for those who love their slightly quirky home accessories and the arty, eclectic look. (If you missed my first gift guide with a Scandi-inspired theme, you can read it here.)
Hopefully this will give you a few ideas for your upcoming Saturday shopping spree!