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6 Reasons to Add Greenery to your Surroundings

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps6 Comments

I don’t know about you, but I have a black thumb. It seems, however, that with practice, my plant killing tendencies are slowly reversing and turning into plant nurturing ones. Granted, I have not been successful in keeping many plants alive - I am just so forgetful and one of those over thinkers when it comes to keeping them alive! I used to fear for any added pets or children, but it turns out that cats are easier to keep alive than a sweet little succulent plant. Go figure.

My mother and grandmother always had plants, and they were gorgeous, so it’s amazing to me that that knack of keeping small trees and flowers alive did not transfer over to me. Too bad. Guys, I even struggle with keeping fresh basil alive!

I used to cringe when people gave me potted plants as gifts, because I knew that if they ever came back, that plant would not be a thriving thing of beauty. No, it would be shrivelled and black - or worse, the pot would be left and the plant dumped out.

Anyway, now that I have experienced some success in keeping some small plants alive, my eyes have been open to how wonderful having some greenery around can be! I mean, I always knew it was a good thing but I guess I never truly embraced it.

If you’re like me and hesitant to bring home (or accept as gifts!) some greenery, this post is for you!

6 Reasons to Add Greenery to your Surroundings | www.maplealps.com

Improves air quality. By reducing carbon dioxide and increasing humidity. Even NASA had a study on this years ago. Check out this excerpt:

“Both plant leaves and roots are utilized in removing trace levels of toxic vapors from inside tightly sealed buildings. Low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone.” When talking about the relationship between plants and space travelers, NASA notes that plants, "provide nourishment for the body when eaten as food, and they improve the quality of indoor air. Plants take the carbon dioxide from air to produce oxygen that humans can breathe."

Pretty cool!

Creates a mood. Especially when your plant pots are super cute and match your decor. Am I right or am I right?

Fosters creativity. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a space with natural settings, I feel much more creative. In the Summer I love working on my deck for this very reason. I do some of my best writing outside, and when I can bring the outside in, it fosters my creativity.

Reduces stress. Or is this just me?

Adds life to your surroundings. Plants are living things. Add some literal life to your surroundings by putting some plants out.

Creates appreciation for nature in general. I promise once you start taking care of these, you’ll start appreciating others’ gardens and houseplants more! You may even start recognizing and putting a name to the leaf!

6 Reasons to Add Greenery to your Surroundings | www.maplealps.com

So you’re sold. Now you want to get out and buy all the green things. There are still some things to consider, however. Here are some tips to choose the best houseplants for you:

Consider your plant abilities. Are you like me with a black thumb? Find some easy-to-care-for plants that will take talent to kill. Succulents are a good start. Do some research as to My personal favourite are snake plants, as I can successfully keep them alive, PLUS they are gorgeous.

Consider the size of your home. How much space do you have in your home? Can you handle having a larger plant, or are smaller ones better? Plants need space to get breathing air too! Do you have a lot of windows to let in sunlight, or do you need to get a plant that prefers shade?

Consider the humidity and temperature. Some plants require more humidity than others. If you want a tropical plant, this is definitely something you will want to consider as they need more humidity. Keeping plants that require more humidity away from your heat and air conditioning units is definitely something you’ll want to think about as they dry the air and change the temperature, obviously.

Consider your family and pets. Does your family have any allergies to any of the plants you plan on bringing home? Are the plants toxic to your fur babies? Do your research before bringing home your new plant friend.

Do your research, whatever you decide. Know how to water, fertilize, and care for the plants you bring into your home. Like people, each plant has unique needs for the best care. Most importantly, have fun learning and don’t give up!

 

Do you have houseplants? What kind? Any tips for someone with a black thumb?


 

Essentials for Your Plant-Based Kitchen

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps10 Comments

Everyone has their kitchen staples, and I'm often asked about mine. Today, I am going to share with you 11 things that I could not live without in my kitchen - the things that get used pretty much every single day. On a slight side note: it's really important to make sure you have quality basics in the kitchen. Don't be like me and cheap out on a $30 blender when you absolutely need it every day for smoothies and sauces! It will start flashing lights and smoking, and blenders are not supposed to do that. True story.

This post contains affiliate links

Essentials for your Plant Based Kitchen | www.maplealps.com
 

Glass Containers

I love these glass containers. I pack up my lunch (leftovers, anyone?) in these babies and the next day, I'm ready to go! I like them especially because they are made of glass, and I don't have to worry about the grade of plastic and the possible effect on my food. 

 

Ceramic Electric Kettle

I love my ceramic electric kettle (Get one from Amazon) and use it every single day! The ceramic is just a really nice touch and it saves a bit when it comes to utilities - I had been using a stovetop kettle for a few years, but since I got this guy, I've never looked back!

 

Fun Utensil Holder and Bamboo Utensils

I like to keep my bamboo close since I use it constantly. It helps to have a nice utensil holder home right on hand. I'm very picky about what goes into it - only my bamboo!

 

Related: Organizational Products That Will Keep Your Home in Order

High-Speed Blender and Reusable Straws

Daily smoothies would not be possible without our awesome blender. It gets daily use - and multiple times sometimes! Sauces, soups and smoothies wouldn't be possible without it. We also got these stainless steel straws and we love them - even though they get pretty cold with our smoothies. We've gotten used to it. They come with a brush for easy cleaning!

 

Mixing Bowls and Colander

These mixing bowls are my favourite. They're cute AND useful. I caved and got these stainless steel ones because my ceramic bowls were getting a little heavy for some of the recipes I was whipping up. They have this awesome grip at the bottom which keeps it from sliding around. This colander is a life saver too - vegetables don't get cleaned otherwise (and pasta doesn't get drained). 

 

Bread Box

I love this bread box! Ours is used every day too - and there's homemade bread in there 90% of the time. Bread for breakfast is a true staple over here, so having it easily accessible is a bonus. Besides, it's pretty!


Garlic Rocker

This garlic rocker has literally changed my life. No more annoying and messy garlic press. This one is easy to clean and is sturdy! I've been using it for four years now and I keep telling everyone that it is easily the best money I've ever spent (I got mine from Amazon). 

 

Whisk Set

These whisks are a must-have for all of the sauces and dressings I mix up.  

 
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What are some of your kitchen essentials?


 
 

Essentials for a Cozy and Personalized Home

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps33 Comments

My husband and I recently moved. Prior to the house we are currently in, we were in a small apartment. While it wasn’t terribly difficult to get everything into one UHaul, once unpacked, we instantly realized how empty the house was. Upgrading in space was nice on one hand, but on the other, we were not terribly excited to try and fill it all up.

So we didn't.

There were a few things we decided on purchasing (like a small bookshelf and new coffee table), but we still figured out a way to balance making our home feel personal and cozy while also keeping things on the simpler side.

As you know, we are not huge fans of clutter or many possessions, but it was easier to balance our minimalism and comfort than we thought.

We love our home and the “at home” feeling it has, so I thought I might share with you some move-in essentials to make your home feel perfectly cozy. 

move in essentials for a cozy and personal home | www.maplealps.com

 

Rugs and Other Textiles

Rugs and other textiles such as curtains really add to a room and there are so many different textures and patterns available to make your space feel just right. It is amazing how just laying down a rug or hanging curtains can change the whole feel of a room. Attractive and warm throws also add a perfectly wonderful warmth to a room.

 

Artwork

How much more personal can you get than artwork? Your walls do not have to be totally bare, even as a minimalist. Choose pieces that speak to your personality. Go one step even further and feature your own artwork or something done by a friend or family member. Of course, make sure you love it before you display it. We have some artwork by friends and places and things we love displayed in our home. Another thing I’ve come to love are decals to spruce up a wall - but do not be afraid of some blank space! 

move in essentials for a cozy and personalized home | www.maplealps.com

 

Pillows

Pillows are a natural choice when dressing a sofa or a bed. For the sofa, choose colours and textures and patterns that compliment and enhance. In the bedroom, choose pillows that will offer soft support for your body to sleep on (these ones from Casper look amazing) as well as a couple of throw pillows to spruce up the place.

 

Candles

I love a good candle and not only the scent but also the soft flicker of light and atmosphere they provide. If choosing a candle that will be burned, make sure you purchase (or make!) chemical-free candles like soy candles that will not harm your health. I love the ones I mentioned here.

move in essentials for a cozy and personalized home | www.maplealps.com

 

Furniture

Furniture is easy to switch out and easy to customize. You can also find fun pieces very inexpensively by asking around or checking the thrift stores in your area. Keep your ears open, because people often want to get rid of furniture. A word of caution, however: do not accept something just because it’s cheap or free; make sure you actually love it, otherwise, it will just be something that takes up space. 

 

Plants

Add plants and add life to your space! If you have a black thumb like me, there is still hope! Choose plants that are easy to care for, such as air plants or even palms! Besides the obvious reason that plants are beautiful, they also help keep your air clean! Totally helpless? Get some fresh flowers and pop them in a vase once in a while! You’ll be amazed at how both your mood and your space will brighten! I will confess that I have one faux plant - it’s a succulent because I have such a hard time keeping them alive - but no one is the wiser, and I’ve never been caught ;-)

 

So there you have it. I joined in on Casper's new home essentials discussion to share this guide for easy reference and pinning :) :) 

move in essentials for a cozy and personalized home | www.maplealps.com
 

What are some of the things you consider essentials in your home to make it feel warm and inviting? Why don't you share them with us below!