14 Creative Things To Do Indoors This Autumn

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Idea 9: Make A Photo Book

I remember the days of printing photos from my holidays and sticking them in an album. Before digital cameras were around we only had so many snaps and we shipped the film off to Boots and back it came with a reel of negatives, half a dozen blurry photos and the odd good one. I used to spend hours peeling back the sticky film pages in a photo album, arranging them, and sealing them down in place. It is great to have your photos printed, especially in a book you are proud of and takes centre stage on your coffee table. When I got back from my recent travels I spent the same amount of time making my photo album but I did it all online and now have the most beautiful, glossy book of memories, no blurry photos in sight!
It’s not a new thing, but is a great thing to do in the Autumn as it takes a long time to create and is a great way of being transported back to the summer!

Where to start. Well you need to decide which company you are going to use. I love Photobox as they are competitively priced, great quality, and their customer care is superb. There are so many companies that do online photo books that it is important to do your research. I found a great offer on Groupon for example, yet when I researched the company read so many bad things about the quality I chose to continue looking. If you are going to spend hours arranging your photos and uploading them, you want to know the end result will be of excellent quality. Once you have chosen the company decide what size and style of book you want. I love the ‘Lay flat’ style as you can display it open on whichever page you like and it sits flat on the table.

Next, sort out your photos. I did all of this on my computer as I had so many photos, and then just uploaded the ones I wanted to use. I didn’t end up even using all of them, but organising them beforehand saved time and confusion once they were uploaded. I also organzied them by page, and worked out how many pages I’d need for each place I’d visited. This was really helpful when getting to the end of the book as I knew I had enough space to fit all of my pictures.

The rest is really fun to do. You choose the layout, the style, the background, everything! The whole process was fairly straightforward on http://www.photobox.com, and I found the designer tool easy to use. You can switch between themes as well, so you can have a totally unique book.

Have a go for yourself. It is addictive and you are left with a beautiful and professional book of memories that will look great on your shelf and be a treat to look at for years to come.

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14 Creative Things To Do Indoors This Autumn

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Idea 8: DIY Bookclub

If you have been following these posts you will know that for the past week I have been bringing you creative ideas to do indoors during the Autumn whilst the weather is so miserable and we can’t quite bring ourselves to step outdoors yet unless we absolutely have to.

Plonking yourself in front of Netflix or the x-factor becomes a typical thing to do when it’s raining outside, but it really doesn’t bring much positivity into our lives. I love the interaction you can have by following television shows, such as following comments on Twitter whilst watching and discussing with friends. Reading doesn’t have to be an antisocial activity either. With so many websites and apps available now to discuss books and reading, it is a more social way to spend those long cold nights that you may have realised. Joining a book club does not mean leaving the house; you can join a global book club by using an app such as Goodreads that allows you to discuss and review books from the comfort of your own home.

I absolutely love the Goodreads app. You scan the barcode of your book and then can choose to shelve it for later, add it to your now reading list or review it. Thousands of book reviews are available for every book, and you can give a star rating, write your own review or even discuss with other readers. Once you have reviewed 20 books the app generates recommendations for you, so you’ll never be left wondering what to read next again. It also allows you to track your reading process and make your own ‘to read’ list.

Have a look online for an online book club, start one with your friends via Facebook or Twitter, or follow my advice and download the Goodreads app. Get reading and enjoy!

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Find the Goodreads website here

14 Creative Things To Do Indoors This Autumn

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Idea 7: DIY Aspirin Facial

This is my absolute go to, skin reforming, miracle mask! I have just got back from a week in London, and it was all about catching up with friends and having fun, so my skin really suffered as a consequence. I admit that although I usually take my makeup off at night, there was the odd night this week I didn’t, and that along with the pollution and the alcohol – well it just played havoc on my skin. A great way to clear pores and reset your skin is using aspirin. You get the effects of a professional peel but for a slither of the price!

So why does it work?
Well aspirin is made from Salicylic Acid which is a main ingredient in acne products and other wrinkle reducing skin care products. It takes away the the cells of the epidermis, the skin’s outer layer, and reveals the new skin underneath.
Honey is a soothing healing product, and can do wonders for skin. Using a little honey along with the aspirin reduces redness and inflammation and is a natural antioxidant, so works just as hard to give your skin a much needed treat.

I would recommend that for your first time using this mask you do a small patch test on a discreet part of your skin. It really is not as scary as it seems, and is rather gentle, however it is still an acid peel treatment and it is good to make sure you do not have any reactions to it. Of course if you are allergic to aspirin do not do it.

To make this mask, I use uncoated aspirin. It is important as the coating can contain ingredients that you don’t want to put on your face, but mainly that they take a very long time to dissolve. I really like using Aspar aspirin as they dissolve well but not completely, leaving a little grain which works well as an exfoliant as well.
I put two tablets in a shallow dish, add a few drops of water to dissolve (no more than one teaspoon) and once dissolved mix with a teaspoon of honey.
Apply to a cleansed face. I like using The Body Shop aloe vera cream cleanser beforehand and rinsing off to remove all makeup gently. Leave the mask for 10-15 minutes and then wash off. Like I mentioned, I like to leave it a little grainy, and then gently exfoliate in circles when I rinse.
Your skin will be baby soft, taught, fresh, and feel amazing. Don’t be surprised to feel a slight tingling sensation afterwards, and try not to use anything heavy on your skin afterwards – a gentle moisturiser works best. I prefer to do it at night and leave my skin for a few hours before putting anything on it.
Lastly, make sure you use sun cream afterwards. It is a peel, so skin will need protection from UVA and UVB afterwards.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think. I promise it works! My post-party skin is feeling fresh and healthy again – not a blemish in sight.

Enjoy!

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14 Creative Things To Do Indoors This Autumn

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Idea 6: Bring some colour into your home with flowers

Be a total modern domestic goddess and arrange your own flowers. It can be so rewarding when you create something beautiful, and brings much needed life and colour into your home at this time of year. It’s been so miserable outside lately that even something simple like having some freshly cut blooms in your home can make a big difference in elevating your mood. Colour coordinating flowers with your decor is a simple way of adding a stylish touch, and is very inviting. It’s much cheaper to buy bunches from the market and arrange them yourself that buying ready bought bouquets, and you can use all sorts of nice containers to display them in – jugs, dishes, shells, even teacups.

I’ve always wanted to do a flower arranging course, but that can be expensive, and involves leaving the house – totally not the point of these indoor activities! So follow my tips below, have a look on the internet – You Tube has so many good videos, and take a look at the pictures of the arrangements I have done below. It really is a nice creative and simple activity that will make you feel like the perfect domestic goddess.

Here are a few of my tips for arranging your own blooms:

  • Decide which colours go with the room you want to put your arrangement in and stick to 2 or 3 primary colours. Unless of course you want to go multi.
  • Cut the stems at an angle, a good inch from the bottom
  • Use jugs, teacups, dessert bowls, anything! to display them.
  • Use oasis for table decorations – it is so easy to use, simply soak it, place on a shallow tray, stab the stems of the flowers into it, and keep it watered. It looks so professional and holds a display in place.
  • Use clear cellophane for wide vases – scrunch some cellophane up and use to hold the stems in place at the top of your vase. You can’t see it, and the vase will look full.
  • Use pebbles, glass nuggets, marbles, shells, or beads in the bottom of your vase to add colour and interest.
  • Layer rose stems over one another to create a neat looking arrangement.
  • Buy some big shells and use them to put the stems into, whether at the bottom of a clear vase, a shall dish, or on their own if they are big enough.
  • Use a flower powder (it usually comes in sachets with shop bought arrangements) to keep the water fresh, or add a mix of sugar and a few drops of vodka to the water instead – yes this works!
  • Experiment with grasses and bamboo – flower arranging doesn’t have to mean pretty floral blooms, you can use thistles, grasses, tropical leaves and other interesting stems to make your arrangements stand out.
  • Cut flowers off the stems and float them in a shallow dish for a different table arrangement or coffee table center-piece.

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Get creative!