Creating a Cosy Garden

i’ve been dreaming of a balmy summers nights, sipping on some ice cold rum, curled up and gazing into the crackling fire for months now! i couldn’t imagine a cosier way to spend an evening. sadly, the british summer is far away so it only seems fair to love and embrace these chilly spring nights and cosy up the garden!

no matter how big or small your space, creating a cosy garden is simple. whether you want to snug up with your partner, have friends over for a bbq or just spend time being at one with nature, here are a few elements to consider to make your space work:

Creating a Cosy Garden  - Festoon Lights & Lanterns | A Living Diary
{image source one & two}

create an ambience
drape festoon lights from your fences to create a statement over your eating area. these solar powered lights from festive lights automatically turn themselves on when it starts getting dark, how cool is that?

if you prefer something less formal, set up clusters of oversized lanterns filled with candles to create a romantic vibe. tealights inside of empty jam jars work just as great, too!

Creating a Cosy Garden  - Hammock, Blankets, Cushions & Pouffes | A Living Diary
{image source one & two}

get comfortable
what better feeling than the fabric of a hammock hugging you whilst you gently rock in the breeze? i have fallen completely in love with this elegant crochet hammock from wayfair, now i just need to find some trees!

pouffes, cushions and blankets are a great alternative to clunky outdoor furniture. they’re super comfortable, easy to store and perfect for a scattering around the fire.

Creating a Cosy Garden  - Potted & Hanging Plants | A Living Diary
{image source one & two}

grow a jungle
there are no rules when it comes to plants – these little things deserve pride of place in everyones garden!

mix and match different sized planters to create texture and visual interest. use plants like lavender to make for a beautiful bee jungle, alongside rosemary and thyme for a garden you can use in your cooking.

hanging plants and suspending them from your fence, walls and trees creates playful focal points at every level. using your vertical space is ideal for smaller gardens, preserving the valuable floor space.

seven things to expect from your first yoga class

{above photograph taken from my instagram feed}

everyone should experience yoga at some point. i started yoga at my local studio; studio one yoga with michelle almond, three weeks ago and can’t believe i hadn’t started sooner! there are a lot of yoga guides available for beginners, and so rather than writing the obvious: make sure you breathe, take your shoes off before class, etc. i’ve skipped those and jumped straight into what you should expect from your first classes!

you won’t understand your teacher
of course, it isn’t possible for your teacher to explain everything that she mentions in your class! luckily my teacher explained well, but there are some words thrown about which can make it difficult to keep up with. don’t worry about these in your first yoga class, understanding them comes with time and experience. words such as ansana (meaning pose), vinyasa (a flow style of yoga), namaste (gesture of respect ‘i bow to the divine in you’) may be mentioned, so now you know what they mean!

it will be awkward
unless you know everybody in the class, or you’re naturally very confident at doing anything in front of strangers, this doesn’t apply for you – but for most, your first yoga class will be awkward! posing with your arms over head, your legs and butt up high all trying to control your wobbly muscles is difficult! it’s normal for people to get embarrassed (that would be me!) but it helps to remember that everybody is learning, and yoga is a personal journey; others aren’t judging you. relax, let go.

you will be jealous
nobody is perfect at something they have never done before. eventhough you might take a beginners class, not everybody will be at the same level. others may have taken the class only a handful of times, yet some may have been there for 20+ classes, it’s all relative to your ability. but there will always be somebody there that you are jealous of – the way that they bend and stretch, those weird positions they get themselves into and their seemingly perfect breathing pattern. it’s natural to be jealous, just don’t compare yourself too harshly and always concentrate on yourself!

you will be sore
if you’ve never practiced yoga before (or aren’t overly active) you will be sore. some people ache instantly after a class, others may only notice their muscle aches a day or two later; but don’t worry because this is normal – yoga stretches muscles that you’re not used to stretching!

you’ll want a ‘yoga uniform’
yoga has it’s own kind of uniform; tight leggings, cute cross back tops, perfect pedicures and a matching mat. these certainly are not something that you need to practice yoga, but it will become something that you want! dressing in something that you feel comfortable is the best way to dress for yoga – it’s always recommended that you wear something that doesn’t restrict your movement, but don’t panic because there are stylish options available for all you fashionistas!

it’s addictive!
it’s likely that if your first class was a good one, you’ll want to go again! most yoga studios offer a discount for classes that are booked in blocks of ten, which is great value for money and it gives you something to look forward to! i have only been to three classes, but after my first i surely became obsessed. yoga is a healthy activity for the mind and your body, and there’s no such thing as too much yoga!

lastly and most importantly, you will love it
after your first class you will indefinitely feel relaxed, happy and energised! despite having mentioned that you will be sore, in the long term you will benefit from improved muscle strength and enhanced state of mind.

namaste, future yogis.