Posts

How Growing Mushrooms At Home Became The Newest Pandemic Trend 

Michael Crowe has been growing mushrooms as a business since 2017. He fills his bags with coffee grounds and other organic matter to help keep his product fresh for his customers, who have now expressed interest in growing their own mushrooms from home thanks to a new internet trend that involves people creating their own personal mushroom gardens at home. 

Crowe claims that a lot of his customers have been sending him live updates of their process, which he loves. “It’s just so cool because it can bring together people of all ages, from all walks of life and people all over the place can grow food and have a really good time learning about it.”

Crowe claims that the pandemic gave people the perfect opportunity to explore the multitude of mushroom growing kits online. “It just blew up, it seemed like one day everybody was looking to grow mushrooms.” 

Embed from Getty Images

This new trend makes sense considering that crafty hobbies in general have grown in popularity throughout the pandemic, especially hobbies that involve growing your own food. Many people have taken their newfound free time at home to better their skills as a chef and begin growing their own ingredients for healthier meal options and a more natural alternative to eating out. 

Growing mushrooms at home is also one of the easiest projects one could do, which is also why it’s become so popular among parents and guardians at home with their children who need constant entertainment. The process gives them something engaging and fun to do, while also providing an educational aspect of how plants grow from seed to table. 

Grocycle is a mushroom company that claims its home-grown kits saw a 320% increase in popularity during the last 12 months compared to the year prior. North Spore is another company based in the US that claims their mushroom growing supplies have been selling out at a rate 400% more when compared to the year prior. 

Embed from Getty Images

Barclay Bram is a London resident who spoke with the media recently about the rise in this trends popularity and his own experience growing mushrooms at home to pass the time. “I picked up a grow kit at my local market last November. Oyster mushrooms are a popular beginner’s shroom, being hardy and low-maintenance. Plus, it turns out eating the fruits of your own labor is tastier, too so that’s what I went with initially. I love cooking, and they were honestly some of the best mushrooms I’ve ever eaten,” says Bram.

Mushrooms are also extremely easy to cook and work with a multitude of meals, which is also likely why they specifically have become so popular. Bram also says there’s a greater sense of community that comes with growing your own food because you begin to communicate with other gardeners and home-growers of all kinds. 

“Sharing them is such a nice thing, and I’ve been swapping the mushrooms with people for backyard eggs or sourdough bread. They’re like an alternative currency, which is pretty cool.”

Jenn Xu is another London resident who claims to have bought three different growing kits since the start of the pandemic. “People want something new to do, we’re stuck at home, and if we can’t move, we want to see something move. I buy them for the novelty and for observing the growth patterns because they’re so diverse and interesting – it piques this childlike wonder … If you look away for two hours and look back, it’s doubled in size.”

Shopping Cart

Random Lockdown Purchases That Have Actually Improved People’s Lives 

Many have been turning to retail therapy to help cope with the past year in lockdown. Now that vaccines are being distributed throughout the world, many are ready to get back to their normal day-to-day lives, however, they also are realizing their lockdown purchases have proven to be quite useful, and will likely continue to be as the pandemic comes to a slow end. Here’s a list of some of the most unusually popular purchases of the past year in quarantine: 

Treadmill: Starting on a relatively basic level, many individuals have taken their time at home to finally focus on their physical health and get into a solid exercise routine. Treadmill’s have always been one of the most popular pieces of at-home exercise equipment because they’re easy to use and can provide one of the best cardio workouts, and the past year has proven that. Especially when the weather got colder and we all were really stuck indoors, many found purchasing a treadmill or other fitness equipment helped keep their minds occupied at home. 

Embed from Getty Images

Electric Bike: Along those same lines many have been turning to electronic bikes to cope with colder weather. Pelaton’s have been rising in popularity due to the fact that they provide personal trainers and scheduled classes to help keep clients motivated and on a steady schedule. 

Furry Friends: For those living alone especially, adopting a new pet has been one of the most popular purchases within the past year. Something that’s important for all new pet owners to remember is that our furry friends have no idea what the past year has actually been like for us, so as we start to get back to normal and enter into the real world again, remember to transition your animal the same way you transition yourself back into normalcy. You are your pets whole world, and your absence does and will impact them emotionally, so be there for them. 

Bread maker: Many were obsessed with making bread in the beginning of the pandemic, and for some, they discovered a real talent for baking. Bread makers in general have risen in popularity immensely within the past year because they’re easy to use, and don’t take up a lot of space, so anyone can have fresh, ready-to-eat bread on any given day. 

Embed from Getty Images

Motorhome: For those with the financial ability to do so, purchasing a motorhome has been the perfect way to continue to vacation in a world where you need to stay separated from everyone, not to mention one of the safest. With thousands of campsites and trailer parks throughout the nation, a motorhome has been the perfect addition for any traveler. 

Bed: Now that we’ve all been spending an obscene amount of time at home, many have realized that our furniture is not exactly up to our liking. Beds in general have risen immensely in popularity due to the fact that many are realizing they haven’t upgraded their sleeping set up in a while, and what better time to do so then when we all are forced to stay home in bed anyway? 

Projector: On Amazon projectors range from $200-$500 depending on the size, but many people have been buying them to do socially distanced movie nights in their backyard. For others, they’re realizing that buying a projector and displaying it on a blank wall is the perfect solution to buying a large entertainment system without completely breaking the bank. 

Two Girls Working Out at Home

How Everyday Activities Can Help Maintain A Healthy And Active Lifestyle At Home

Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis is an expert in physical activity working at the University of Sydney, who recently spoke with the media about how living an active and healthy lifestyle is much easier than the average person would think.

How To Stay Warm This Winter Without Increasing Your Heating Bill 

With so many of us working from home in the middle of one of the coldest winters in years, many are worried for the rise in their heating bills that’s guaranteed to follow. According to Laura McGadie, the group head of energy at Energy Saving Trust, many individuals don’t realize the multitude of ways they can save on heating every year, without sacrificing being comfortable in your own home. 

“If you are taking advantage of not having to commute by getting up later, set your heating to come on later in the morning. If possible, get a smart meter installed, which is estimated to help reduce a household’s electricity use by 2.8% and gas use by 2%.”

Embed from Getty Images

McGadie claims that getting to know your heating system is the best first step to understanding the best ways to save energy and cost. She also recommends draught-proofing all your windows and doors, as many homeowners don’t realize that they could be saving every year based on how much cold air comes into their space through cracks and crevices in the home. 

“You can seal the gaps between floors and skirting boards to reduce draughts with a tube of sealant bought from any DIY store. Other simple fixes include getting a cover for your letterbox and keyholes, fitting self-adhesive foam strips to draughty windows or using a chimney balloon in unused open fireplaces.”

John Eric Smith is an assistant professor in the department of kinesiology at Mississippi State University, who also claims that individuals aren’t wearing enough clothes in their homes, which also prompts them to increase the heat more than necessary. “If you can keep the core – the chest and all – warm, you will keep the peripheries warm. When your body gets colder, blood is diverted from the extremities, which then feel colder.”

Embed from Getty Images

“I like fleeces because they create this really thick area without much weight, but several layers of any kind of top can create the same effect. Some people swear by thermal undergarments, and a hat will also help, but not if you’re sitting topless at your desk. Any time you’re looking at reducing the skin’s contact with the environment, it is going to be beneficial. The idea that most of your heat is lost through your head is an old wives’ tale,” Smith explained. 

Getting curtains can also help contain heat within your home and stop it from escaping through the windows. McGadie recommends heavy lined curtains in darker colors, and putting an old blanket over your door at night can also have the same heating effect. Smith also recommends making sure you’re moving your body everyday. This is not only great for keeping your blood circulating, but for your overall physical health as well. 

“You need to find that happy balance between being physically active enough that you’re generating heat to stay warm, but not to the point that you’re going to sweat to try to cool down.”

Smith warned that with exercise you have to be “careful when you start sweating because you’re going to be losing body heat faster which will actually make you colder.” Even cleaning up your house and performing chores can be seen as adamant exercise around your space as long as you’re constantly moving.

Sundance 2021

Must-See Films From Sundance 2021 That You Can Stream A Home

While the Sundance Film Festival may have looked a little different this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, filmmakers from all over were still able to show off their magnificent works and make it available to individuals at home who are riding out the rest of this pandemic. Here’s a list of some of the most talked-about films that premiered at Sundance 2021:

“The Blazing World” – Carlson Young has made her feature directing debut this year with the short “The Blazing World.” The film stars Young herself, along with cult film icon Udo Kier, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, and singer/songwriter/actress Soko. Young plays a woman haunted since childhood by the accidental drowning of her twin sister. When her self-destructive path leads her to an alternate dimension where her twin sister may still be alive, adventure ensues.

Embed from Getty Images

“Bring Your Own Brigade” – Lucy Walker is no stranger to Sundance, and has actually premeried ten films at the event over the years. This year, she’s releasing a film about the causes of wildfires, and takes her film crew into dangerous disaster zones to talk to actual firefighters and residents of places like Paradise, California; which was completely destroyed by the 2019 wildfires in California. 

CODA” – Siân Heder’s newest coming-of-age story follows British actress Emilia Jones, who plays the child of two deaf parents who is torn between helping them manage their day-to-day tasks, and following her musical ambitions. 

“Eight for Silver” – British filmmaker Sean Ellis is back with his newest entry into the evolving “contemporary period horror canon.” This film is a modern werewolf tale that also paints a gothic portrait of a community coping with unexplainable horrors brought on by these mythical creatures. The film contains curses, magic, and other gothic elements that really transports the viewer to another time. 

Embed from Getty Images

“Flee” – Director Jonal Poher Rasmissen’s new animated documentary follows the experiences of a gay refugee from the Middle East who attempt to rebuild his life in Denmark. According to reviewers who have seen the film, “Rasmussen blends a colorful, hyper-real style with personal recollections as its subject struggles to reconcile his troubling past with a stable present. The drama extends across decades, following its evolving character from a war-torn childhood through the many changes that follow.”

“How It Ends” – Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein are no stranger to Sundance, and this year they’re returning with a comedy film that is appropriately about the end of the world. The partners wrote, directed, and starred in the film alongside Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen, Helen Hunt, Lamorne Morris, and Cailee Spaeny. The film is set in LA on the last day of earth, and follows  “one woman [who] goes on a journey through LA to make it to her last party before the world ends, running into an eclectic cast of characters along the way.”

“In The Earth” – Ben Wheatley, known for his film “Kill List,” is back with a film inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic. The movie follows actor Joel Fry who plays a park scout who joins a scientist on a walk in the woods on a terrible night. What exactly is in the woods that caused the two to fight for their lives? You’ll have to watch to find out…

Golden Doodle

Some Of The Most Popular Pets Being Adopted During The Pandemic 

Dogs and cats have always dominated in terms of popular pets for the whole family, and while the Covid-19 pandemic has given numerous households the opportunity to commit to raising a puppy or kitten full time, many are opting for some more unique additions to their family while enduring the rest of the pandemic. 

According to Pets4Homes, an online resource used by many Americans for finding or putting up adoption listings for any and all pets, nearly 20,000 parrots were rehomed in 2020; a 79% increase when compared to 2019. The company claims this is likely because many individuals got tired of the silence in their homes and wanted an animal that could talk back to them. 

Embed from Getty Images

That’s not all either, according to Pets4Homes stats on the past year a wide variety of extremely unique pets have risen in popularity amid the numerous lockdowns the US has endured within the past ten months. Chickens, salamanders, ferrets, quails, tarantulas, and stick insects are among some of the coolest species on the list. 

Lily Wakefield is an average citizen who recently spoke with the media about this unique pet phenomenon and discussed why her and her housemates became obsessed with the idea of owning and raising baby quails after watching numerous TikTok videos about it. TikTok and social media in general has been a major player in getting all of these diverse species onto people’s feeds and thus getting them interested in what it would be like to be an owner of that species. 

“The quails are very funny and have individual personalities. They’re also a great conversation starter as nobody is doing anything in lockdown, and we get so many eggs to give to our neighbors.”

Embed from Getty Images

Daniella Dos Santos is the senior vice president of the British Veterinary Association who also spoke with the press about how while it’s awesome to see so many animals finding loving homes, many of these owners don’t actually take the time to learn about all the specific care that goes into taking care of these species. 

She also went on to discuss how in a year from now when the world is likely back to normal, many of these owners may begin to neglect their pets once they’re able to go out into the real world again. Remember, for these pets, you’re their whole life, and your home is also the only space they will occupy for their entire life. We all now know what it’s like to be stuck in our homes indefinitely, so make sure you’re giving your pet the best care and most loving and entertaining life possible, and make sure you do the research!

Many of these animals have indeed found those loving spaces and owners that actually need their new friends as much as they need them. Romy Miller is a barista who said she found comfort in adopting her axolotl Pluto. Axolotl’s are nicknamed “little water dragons,” to give you an idea of what they look like. 

Miller explained how lockdown gave us all the opportunity to appreciate those we love the most, and that includes our animals. People are finally able to really commit to their pets like they should’ve been all along, and give them the same level of love and emotional companionship that all pets give to their owners.

Woman Hiking

Lifestyle And Wellness Trends To Expect In 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has truly changed the way in which we run our everyday lives and take care of ourselves. While 2021 is looking a lot more hopeful with the release of multiple vaccines and a new administration running things in the White House, the pandemic is likely still going to drive trends within the next year in terms of how we live our lives and take care of ourselves. Here are some of the pandemic trends expected to be carried into 2021. 

Comfort Crafting: Whether you like knitting, painting, or even baking, creating something with your hands is always a satisfying feeling. The pandemic has given people the perfect excuse to finally explore any and all hobbies that they may have never had time to try in the past. Dayna Johnson is a trend expert working for Etsy who claims that “crafting and learning new skills in general serves as a form of self-care and grounding.”

Embed from Getty Images

Meditation: It’s no surprise that a global health crisis paralleling an economic recession would cause some extreme feelings of stress and anxiety. For those who have always suffered with their mental health, or those who may be learning about their own anxiety for the first time this pandemic, this crisis has shown us all that taking care of ourselves needs to be a priority. Learning proper meditative practices, or any other activity that can help ease the daily stresses of living during a pandemic will likely carry out into the new year as we all start to navigate the uncharted territory of post-vaccination life. 

Outdoor Activities: If we think back to the beginning of this pandemic, Friluftsliv is a Norweigan concept that began trending when lockdowns were initially occuring last spring. The word translates to “free air life” and is explained as a deep appreciation for being outdoors and incorporating outdoor activities in your life. Utilizing whatever outdoor spaces one has at their home or taking advantage of whatever walking paths your town may have is an amazing way to safely get out of your house, and appreciate the world around you. 

Road Trips/Solo Travel: Travel has become the last thing on most of our minds within the past year, however, as the pandemic progressed, new and safe ways of travelling began emerging so that individuals could get out of their quarantine space and feel a certain sense of freedom. Road trips and solo vacations have grown in popularity this past year due to the fact that you don’t need to be around anyone else to do so. Solo travel has given people an excuse to truly appreciate their own company and remember what it’s like to fall in love with yourself and the world around you. 

Embed from Getty Images

Going Green: Throughout their time in lockdown many individuals have realized that the world is actually enduring two global pandemics right now; Covid-19 and climate change. At this point it’s going to take true systemic change from our world leaders to really reverse all the damage that humans have done to the planet, however, many are spending their time at home figuring out ways that they can personally better the planet. Many are learning how to properly recycle, remove single-use plastic items from their homes, and reduce their overall carbon footprint. 

Interior Design: Since we’ve all been stuck at home for the past year, many of us have decided to redesign the spaces that we’ve been spending an indefinite amount of time in. Creating home offices, rearranging furniture, creating pieces of art to revamp a plain wall, painting rooms, building gardens, etc. have all been home improvement projects that interior design blogs have been discussing immensely within the past year. So many first time designers are taking to the internet and its multitude of tutorials and tips for freshening up their spaces and implementing more of their personal style into the spaces.

Remote Working: While this is less of a trend and more of a circumstantial activity, many companies and employers are seeing how successfully they can still run their companies in a remote setting, and are thus opting to remain remote as the world begins to reopen. Even large corporations like Facebook and Twitter have announced that their employees will now always have the option to work from home, or come into an office space once the pandemic becomes less of a threat, if they wish.

Open-Bed-Online-Dating-Site

How The Covid-19 Pandemic Has Changed The Way We Date | Open Bed

Using online platforms to find potential relationship matches is nothing new, however, now that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic that forces everyone to stay home and remain distant from the rest of the world, using the internet to find love has shifted into something completely different than simply swiping and messaging people you find attractive.

Family Brushing Teeth

How To Take Better Care Of Your Teeth In The Middle Of A Pandemic 

Dentists were thought to be some of the most high-risk workers for contracting Covid-19 when this pandemic began due to the nature of their work and constant exposure to individuals mouths/germs, however, studies have shown in the US less than 1% of dentists have tested positive for the coronavirus since June. 

According to Professor Damien Walmsley, a scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, dentists have always had to have a strict and rigorous sterilizing routine due to the intimacy of their occupation, so if anything they were more than prepared to continue working as this pandemic progressed. 

For many, however, regardless of how safe it may be, it’s just easier to wait for the pandemic to be over before going and having a doctor up close and personal with your mouth. If you’re an individual who isn’t comfortable going to get their annual cleaning due to the pandemic, there’s still plenty you can do for your oral health at home to maintain proper hygiene and teeth care. 

Embed from Getty Images

According to Walmsley, “the majority of dental problems are preventable” if you stick to a good routine. Brushing your teeth in the morning and at night for two minutes each time is generally enough to prevent things like gum disease, plaque build up, tooth decay, and more. However, on average people only brush their teeth for 43 seconds both times, which is not nearly enough. 

“Four minutes a day is not a lot to ask,” says Dr Nigel Carter, the chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation. Carter recommends using a toothpaste with fluoride, regardless of the brand, as it works to slow down the progression of tooth decay and prevent it in the future. He also thinks that all the “natural” toothpastes that are appearing on the market aren’t as effective in actually cleaning your teeth and mouth. 

Wamsley claims that what you brush with (electric or manual) doesn’t matter either, as long as you’re actually brushing for two minutes both times. It’s recommended that everyone should also replace their toothbrush every three months, but unfortunately many people forget to do this. The same way you need to replace a loofah in the shower, or razorhead when you shave you need to update your toothbrushes. 

Embed from Getty Images

Beyond just brushing it’s recommended that everyone flosses regularly. This is obviously easier said than done for many of us, however, alternatives like water pik devices and smaller hand-held flossers make it easy to thoroughly clean the spaces between our teeth. Nyree Whitley, a group clinical director for the dental care provider mydentist, recently spoke with the media about other things we can do from home to promote proper oral hygiene. 

“Being conscious of what you’re eating and when is also vital for a healthy mouth.”

Whitley recommends limiting alcohol and sugar intake, as it can really break down the enamel. Additionally, she says if your gums start bleeding after brushing and flossing more vigorously, don’t be scared or put off. “It’s not an indication you’re brushing too hard: it probably means you haven’t been brushing well enough. The bleeding indicates some level of gum disease, and will probably stop as your gums become healthier.”

As we all continue to wait out the rest of this pandemic, it’s important that we take care of ourselves in all aspects of life. Continue to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes a day so that when this is finally all over you won’t get those judgemental glares from your dentist.

Feng Shui

Easy Feng Shui Tips To Enhance Positive Energy In Your Home

With so many of us now stuck inside indefinitely, many have begun redecorating, renovating, and reorganizing their homes. Now that we’re stuck in these places, it only makes sense that we’d want them to look and feel the most comfortable and personal to us as possible. Many have been looking to the Chinese practice of Feng shui for inspiration, as well as the best ways to create balance between the natural world within our interior spaces. Feng shui also uses energy forces as a means of creating harmony between the individual and their home, so it makes sense that so many would want to bring that idea into their own spaces, especially during times of such global unrest. 

The most general rule to Feng Shui is maintaining a clutter-free space. Open spaces are not only more appealing to look at, but they’re also proven to promote mental clarity. Think about it, in the past when you would come home from a long day at work to a messy house, that work stress would then follow you into your off time. Coming home to a clean house, however, allows us to feel completely separated and calm, because there’s nothing out of place that needs cleaning. 

Embed from Getty Images

Clutter also brings down our energy and holds us back from seeing good opportunities, according to Feng shui practices, so before you do anything else, make sure your home is clean. 

Feng shui also views the front door as one of the most important areas in the home when it comes to promoting good energy flow. It’s important to keep the space around your front door open and clear, this way positive energy has the ability to freely come into your home, and negative energy can easily be pushed out. 

Bringing the five elements into your home is also a very important aspect of Feng shui. The five elements include earth, wood, fire, metal, and water, and by incorporating these elements into decorative pieces in your home, you’re balancing the energy of the space while also creating an open path between the natural world and your home. 

Embed from Getty Images

Bringing in these elements is also much easier than it may sound. Earth can be represented by a real house plant in your window while wood and metal can easily be accomplished through furniture choices. Water can be utilized either through a vase of flowers, or a small fish tank, which would also bring life into the space, literally. Fire may sound dangerous, but this can easily be implemented into your space through candles or a fireplace if you have one. 

Maximize natural lighting as much as possible in your home. Even if you only have one small window in your room, accentuate that space on the wall. Feng shui tells us that windows are like our front door, in the sense that it helps promote energy flow and brings in positivity and happiness. 

Besides living in a clutter-free space, one of the other most important aspects of Feng shui is balance, and making your home feel as though everything is in its proper place. When you bring in larger elements like a television, floor-length mirror or anything mounted on the walls, make sure you’re placing them in a way that seems intentional and fitted. 

Balancing the space will allow you to remove any aspects of the home that you deem to be negative, or bring in negative energy, because it’s easier to see what elements of a room don’t seem to fit with the way that you’ve organized the rest of it. 

No matter how strictly you adhere to the Feng shui guidelines, make sure you’re organizing your space for yourself and in a way that makes you happy. Our homes are meant to be safe spaces, which is something we all need in a time like this.