Dizzy Miss James - A Travel / Food/ Lifestyle Blog


12 Jun 2019

Getting Your Dose Of Sun When It Rains

Everybody knows, nowadays, that sunlight plays a significant role in our health. The simple fact that specialists have come together to describe the effects of the lack of direct sun exposure on the mood in terms of depressive disorder speaks volumes. Sun has been associated with life for as long as humanity has been around, as it’s connected to vegetation growth and the survival of animals. But, it’s only recently that doctors have discovered its influence on our mental health. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, is a serious illness that can, in its most severe cases, require antidepressive treatment. While getting sufficient sun exposure has never been an issue during the warmer months of the year. In fact, it is the opposite phenomenon as when the weather is warm and pleasant; people are more likely to increase their direct sunlight exposure to a dangerous amount, leading to a high risk of sunburns - which can be just as damaging for your health. However, when the weather is getting cooler, we have a tendency to stay indoors, in our cozy living rooms. The idea of going outside, especially when the weather is cold and potentially rainy is not at the top of your to-do list. 

However, when you know that you need no more than 20 minutes of direct sunlight exposure per day to fight off SAD, there’s no excuse to stay locked inside any longer. Here are some ideas to get more sun into your life. 

Getting Your Dose Of Sun When It Rains

Find solutions that let natural light in

Your skin needs direct exposure to sunlight to absorb UV B and produce vitamin D. Unfortunately, science has demonstrated that sitting behind a window typically doesn’t kickstart vitamin D production as most glass windows stop UV B. However, you can trick your mind out of a depressive state just by surrounding yourself with natural light, even if you are indoors. Indeed, the presence of light coming through the sliding doors in your kitchen or living room throughout the day can encourage your mind to put on a pair of rose-tinted glasses - figuratively speaking. Additionally, direct access to your garden can tempt you into wandering outside during the day, even if you’re only stepping outside for a few minutes. You could drink your morning coffee outside while watching the sun come out, for instance. 

Households in northern climates maximise natural light as part of their decor, with the addition of skylights in the kitchen or even in the bathroom, as a way of making the most of the few hours of sun throughout the day. 

Give your garden all the love it deserves

Most people love their garden as long as the weather is warm and sunny. But as soon as the sky gets grey and the rain is falling, they stay indoors and forget everything about their outdoor scenery. In reality, it only takes some creative DIY to revamp your garden into a weatherproof haven. Ultimately, finding a flooring solution that is safe when wet can be tricky. A helpful rule of thumb is to stay away from slate and ridged softwood decking. Instead, opt for hardwood, which is an elegant alternative that can be treated to be durable and waterproof; giving you the perfect excuse to wander outside! Add a sturdy deck frame to keep your guests dry and a patio that protects you from the rain, and you’re ready to make the most of direct sunlight, even on a rainy day! After all, don’t be fooled into thinking that the rain stops the UV radiation from reaching you. 

Why don’t we like rain anyway?

Ultimately, it’s fair to say that most people dislike the idea of walking in the rain. Unlike Gene Kelly, who seems to enjoy singing in the rain, the rest of us much prefer to stay dry and warm. Ultimately, the attitude is likely to be linked to our childhood. If your parents scold you for playing in the rain as a child, it’s easy to see how the mind associates the rain with negative emotions. In reality, nothing else than getting wet and maybe a little muddy happens when you go outside. You’re unlikely to catch a cold in the rain. Finding a few waterproof basics for you and your family can solve many issues. Additionally, you can create a new rain routine to encourage your family to grab some healthy UV B. For instance, why not make a creamy hot chocolate to welcome everybody back home? It’s the perfect drink to stay warm and put a smile on your face. Besides, what are 20 minutes outside when a cup of warm cocoa awaits you at home? 

Sun brings happiness, and sunny decors do too

While sunlight - direct or indirect - can create happiness, most people tend to ignore the influential power of artificial brightness. For instance, you can create a sunny spot in your interior decor, either by using bright painting colours or by adding items in yellow and orange hues. Nothing spreads happiness as much as a large yellow cushion on your sofa, for instance. Of course, it doesn’t replace sunlight. But it’s enough sun to light your mood! 

Can you replace vitamin D?

Last but not least, the question comes back every year: can you replace vitamin D on rainy days? Some people claim to get all the sun they need during the summer, and therefore ignore the wet weather. In reality, your body doesn’t store UV B excess. However, your diet can also make a significant difference in keeping your mind and body healthy. Indeed, you’ll find some foods that are naturally high in vitamin D such as oily fish and even canned fish. Typically, you should get around 600 IUs of vitamin D a day - international units. Smoke salmon alone gets up to 580. Combined with portobello mushrooms - which have 375 IUs - you can supply your body with plenty of vitamin D! 

In the long term, you shouldn’t replace direct sun exposure only through your diet. If you’re worried about skin damages, you need to know that you’re less likely to get a sunburn when it’s raining - however, it remains a risk. The bottom line is that you can still bring plenty of sun into your life ] figuratively and literally - even during the rainiest of all days! 

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10 May 2019

How To Get Started With Making Your Own Jewellery

Accessorizing is an important part of building an outfit so it’s always good to have a lot of different pieces of jewellery to hand. The problem is, jewellery is expensive and we can’t all afford to buy it on a regular basis. A lot of people also struggle to find pieces that really suit their style and they feel like every piece of jewellery that they wear just doesn't look right. But what if there was a way that you could have amazing jewellery that fits perfectly with your own personal style, and costs you a fraction of the price of the jewellery that you normally buy? Luckily, there is! You can just make your own jewellery. 

Making it yourself is so much better because it’s cheaper and you don’t have to spend ages looking for that perfect piece, you can decide what kind of jewellery you want and then just make it. If you get good, you could even consider selling some of it online on sites like Etsy or eBay. However, that doesn’t mean anybody can head into a craft shop and start a business selling jewellery because it’s a difficult skill to master properly. If you’re thinking about making your own jewellery, here are a few beginners tips to help you get started.

making your own jewelry

Focus On One Thing At A Time 

There are a lot of different types of jewellery and different materials you can try but when you’re first starting out, you need to focus on one thing and master that properly. If you try to spread yourself too thin, you’ll be making lots of different types of jewellery badly rather than making one very well. Decide on what your favourite type of jewellery is or what you’re missing when you look in shops and start there. It doesn’t matter what it is but it might be best to start with easier designs first and move onto the more intricate pieces when you’re a bit more experienced.

Invest In The Right Equipment 

It’s important that you have the right tools when you start making jewellery, otherwise, you won’t be able to get the professional finish that you want. You could just borrow some pliers and wire cutters from the toolbox in the garage but you’ll get far better results if you invest in some new jewellery making ones. The same goes for materials as well. Most craft shops will have some good quality jewellery making materials but there are also some great places online like Totally Beads where you can get some great necklace and bracelet making kits with everything that you’ll need. If you’re working with low quality materials to start with, you’re just going to get low quality jewellery out at the end. 

Visit Forums 

There is a whole community of jewellery makes out there and they’re always willing to help beginners that are looking to start making their own stuff. There are some great forums online that you can visit and ask questions to more experienced jewellery makers. There is a wealth of information available on these sites so make sure to use them regularly. 

If you follow this basic advice when you start making your own jewellery, you should get good results. 

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25 Apr 2019

Spanish Summer Destinations You Must Check Out

If you want to be certain of some warm weather and great beaches for your summer holiday then you should head to Spain. For those that are not beach lovers, you will also find history, small villages, mountains, cultures and stunning countryside. It does depend on the type of holiday you are after as to which would be the best placer to visit, but Spain caters for all tastes. Here are just a few suggestions of some you might enjoy.

Balearic Isles

mallorca-Spanish Summer Destinations

There are several islands in the Balearic peninsula but just four main ones that attract tourists. Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera are all well-known destinations that offer holidays that anyone can enjoy. If you want to party all night long or relax in the peace and quiet of the mountains, the Balearic Isles offers it all. The local cuisine is delicious and the people some of the friendliest you will find anywhere. 

These islands are only a short flight away from the UK and can be the perfect location to spend your holiday.


Spanish Summer Destinations

Marbella, which is situated in southern Spain on the Costa Del Sol in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca. It is a great place to visit, with the 'Golden Mile' of luxury apartments in Marbella actually being four miles long. The local cuisine is largely based on seafood but you will find restaurants and bars serving dishes from all over the world.

The area is very tourist orientated and there are plenty of attractions for visitors to enjoy. From the tranquil beaches to historic centres and from boat trips to water activities for people of all ages, Marbella has a lot to offer.


Spanish Summer Destinations

Travel to Santander in northern Spain for a totally different style of summer holiday. The weather is a bit cooler and there is more likely to be an occasional shower of rain. When the rest of Spain is sweltering with temperatures in the high 30's this city can be a great place to visit. It is full of history, monuments and culture, as well as having no shortage of bars, cafes and restaurants.

If you fancy learning the language, this can be the ideal place as it is where many of the Spanish tourist head to reach a cooler climate.


Sunset  Spanish Summer Destinations

If you want warm sunny beaches combines with the traditional Spanish lifestyle Murcia is the place for your holiday. The city itself is situated inland, but it is within easy reach of the coastal areas where the sandy beaches stretch for miles. This area is becoming more popular every year, and you will not need to pack your raincoat, as they get very little. It is one of the hottest and driest areas in the whole of Spain.

These are just a few suggestions for different places for your Spanish holiday. There are many more places to visit and things to do whether you want the perfect place for a family holiday or somewhere quiet for a romantic break.

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3 Apr 2019

Keeping Your Home Warm And Cosy

A lot of people stick to central heating when warming their homes. However, this is expensive and is not as effective as another method. This method is indeed using fire logs. There are many advantages to be gained by choosing to light a fire during the cold period. 

Keeping Your Home Warm And Cosy

How to stay warm when the chill is upon us is something that will probably always be debated. Should you go for fuel or fire? No doubt, fire logs boast many qualities that no other type of heating can. Fire logs are not only inexpensive but they are also surprisingly easy to use. When manufactured, they are generally made from sawdust and paraffin, ingredients that are readily combustible. A fire is traditional, warm, easy to ignite, and natural. You won't be able to generate the cosy vibe of a fire through any other heating method.

Fire logs are surprisingly easy to light. The result is a long and consistent burn than almost completely consumes the fire log, leaving little ash to clean up after the log is finished burning. Their good quality of fire, attractive flame, cleanliness, and ease of use, has made their use in fireplaces extremely popular - generating a very high annual national demand. 

Efficiency and the low costs associated with fire are the main reasons why so many people prefer this method when warming up their home. The heat will be instantly felt, which is not the case when it comes to your central heating, you have to wait a considerable period of time before your home heats up, all the while it will be costing you money. Moreover, a fire will give off a much greater and more enjoyable level of heat. Firelogs are quickly ignited highly combustible and long burning. 

The main issue people worry about is that the burning of woods is potentially inviting a dangerous situation into their home. However, as long as you choose your fire logs wisely you need not worry about this matter. Of course, you need to choose your fireplace with care too. Look for a company that is reputable like Opulance Stoves. It is more than possible to have a smoke-free fire. Firstly, make sure the logs you have selected are seasoned. Green logs are highly dangerous as they contain too much moisture. Moreover, if you look online you will find information regarding what types of wood are good for fires and which are not. This should help you. It is always a good idea to read reviews that have been left by others as well. They will share any bad experiences they have had so that you don’t make the same mistake. Nevertheless, in general, you can't really go wrong. Purchase your wood wisely and buy a fireguard and the potential for problems are diminished to a minute amount. You should also make sure you store your wood outside, as you don't want to invite health problems into your home because of insects.

If you are looking for an effective, cost-efficient and enjoyable way to keep your home warm, you should definitely opt to light fire logs. This is much cheaper than paying for central heating and you will benefit from a greater level of heat as well. Moreover, a fireplace is definitely one of those attributes that can turn a standard house into a home thanks to its cosy and traditional feel. 

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12 Mar 2019

Big House Buying Blunders You Need To Avoid

Buying a new home is quite an exciting process, especially when it’s your first time. Between choosing a great area and looking through beautiful properties, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and thrill of home-ownership. However, this task is also one that can be very confusing, so much so, in fact, that many home buyers make mistakes that cost them time and money. For a less stressful experience, here are six blunders you should avoid when buying a house

Big House Buying Blunders You Need To Avoid

Buying Rather Than Renting

As frustrating as it can be to write rent checks every month knowing you’ll receive no physical asset in return, you shouldn’t rush into purchasing a property. Owning a house is more expensive and permanent than renting. For this reason, you should consider your circumstances carefully before making a decision. If you plan to move any time soon, then buying may not be for you.

Choosing The Wrong Loan

Before you can start looking for properties, you need to know exactly what you can afford. This means getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Rather than apply for the first one you see, you should compare many different home loans and choose the best one for you. Make sure that your financial situation stays the same or your loan application could be denied when it counts. 

Going Beyond Your Budget

When you know what your budget is, you need to stick to it. Don’t even look at more expensive properties or you could find yourself falling in love with a home that you just can’t afford. Buying a house like this could derail your future finances and harm your credit score. It’s human nature to want more and more, but you can’t let yourself get tempted by unrealistic properties. 

Not Researching The Location

The location of a property is just as important as the house itself. After all, you’re not going to spend the rest of your life trapped within the four walls of your new home. Because of this, you should take the time to research the neighbourhood and get to know a few of your potential new neighbours. This can give you an idea of whether or not this is somewhere you want to live.

Big House Buying Blunders You Need To Avoid

Letting Yourself Become Desperate

House hunting is a process that can go on for months or even years. In this time, you could face any number of setbacks and issues, which can cause major frustration and eventually desperation. This may drive you to buy a house that you don’t really want, just to get the process over with. Instead of doing this, you should give yourself a short break to recharge. 

Hunting Without An Agent

With online listings so easily accessible these days, it’s no wonder that many home buyers pass up the help of a professional. However, a real estate agent can offer a lot of help and support, saving you unnecessary stress, as well as time and money. This help is usually also free, as sellers pay their fees, so there’s no real reason not to have an agent by your side. 

As exciting as it can be, buying a house can be a complicated process. To avoid making it any harder, steer clear of the mistakes listed above. 

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