Utopia Blog

BLOGGERS TEACH UTOPIA HOW TO #RELAXMONDAY
Posted by admin on March 30, 2015 at 7:30 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

After a manic Monday, we all deserve to sit back, unwind and rejuvenate, but sometimes when life takes over, relaxing is easier said than done.

That’s why we have enlisted the help of some lovely lifestyle bloggers to tell us their favourite ways to relax, and here are some of our favourites:

All of our fab bloggers agreed that the bathroom is the ideal place to start when getting into the relaxation mood and indulging in some ‘me time’. Each blogger suggested that you should yourself a hot bubble bath using all of the most luxurious products like bath bombs, moisturisers and face masks. This is the best way to prepare your body for the rest of the week.

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Emma said: ‘try to spend anything from 20-45 minutes just in your own company, treating your body and looking after yourself’ by investing in some ‘little extras’ that will make your bathroom into your own personal spa – what could be more relaxing than that?

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Another stand-out piece of advice from Emma, was to look after your body from the inside out, that way you will achieve a happier mind that will allow you to feel less stressed and worried! What’s the best way to do this? Eat a dinner packed full of superfoods, she says!

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Health seems to be a common theme amongst our lifestyle bloggers, and Laura Claire told us that after a stress-filled day, her number one way to de-stress is to stick in some earphones, play some happy tunes and go for a long run. Exercise is scientifically proven to release endorphins – hormones that increase a feeling of wellbeing, which is why even a little bit of exercise is a great way to unwind. It’s also a great way to promote a good night’s sleep which will set you up for the week ahead.

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Exercise isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but one thing we think everyone can enjoy when it comes to relaxing and rejuvenating is to appeal to all of the senses. In the words of Laura Claire: ‘don’t skimp on the ambiance’– and at Utopia we truly believe this. Light a scented candle, dim the lights, play your favourite music and believe us, you won’t be able to feel more relaxed!

Alongside dog walking, listening to audio books and of course bathing, our final blogger Mary gets creative as a way to wind down after a tiring Monday. Whether it be baking, jewellery making or painting, a hobby outside of your every day work that you love helps you relax. Although it is sometimes nice to do absolutely nothing – keeping your mind occupied is a great way to keep stress at bay and unwind on a Monday evening.

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So, the bloggers have spoken and given us all of their top relaxation tips! Is there anything more you would add to the list? Leave us a comment!

 

HOW TO SATISFY YOUR MAN IN THE BEDROOM
Posted by admin on March 26, 2015 at 7:45 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

Bedrooms are often decorated to be light, open, airy spaces filled with glam accessories and lots of detail. But they’re not necessarily a masculine space. What makes a space more masculine?
Masculine styles in the bedroom are minimalistic and dark in colour – decorated in smoky greys and dark blues. Here are some style ideas to help you achieve that male/female compromise in your bedroom.

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Minimalistic doesn’t always mean ‘modern’. In a minimalistic, masculine space you can also furnish with classic furniture pieces and darker woods for a more traditional yet stylish bedroom look.

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Adding a splash of animal print (such as this leopard print cushion) can also add a sophisticated, sexy feel to any bedroom. Animal print accessories are great for keeping the balance between male and female styles

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 Warm shades are a bedroom classic. To make the space feel more masculine, you could add small bursts of these colours amongst plain and muted walls and minimal accessories to add a touch of colour to a simplistic bedroom.

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Glam accessories such as chandeliers and plush cushions don’t always make the bedroom a feminine space. If they are amongst earthy colours (like wood) and placed in a very simple space, the room can still have that feminine and masculine compromise.

Have you found that feminine and masculine balance in your bedroom?

 

where are the world’s most expensive bathrooms and what do they look like?
Posted by admin on March 25, 2015 at 11:00 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

Ever thought what your dream bathroom would look like if money was no object? Well some people are lucky enough to make their dream come true. Here are some of the most expensive washrooms in the world to inspire your bathroom decor endeavours.

Lam Sai-wing’s £2.4 million Hong Kong bathroom
This Hong Kong jeweller decided to create his dream bathroom entirely out of precious jewels and solid 24 carat gold. He won the Guinness world record for most expensive bathroom in 2014.

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Atlantis, The Palm’s £1.2 billion Dubai bathroom
This luxury resort’s underwater bathroom creation offers guests the chance to bathe amongst more than 65,000 marine wildlife – the glass walls surrounding this bathroom allow you to have a full view of the lagoon by which the hotel was built.

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Disney World’s priceless Cinderella Suite
Money can’t buy you the Cinderella experience! The toilet is decked out like a throne and the mosaic windows surrounding the sunken bathtub tell Cinderella’s story. This bathroom is truly magical complete even with a starry sky ceiling.

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s multi-million dollar bathroom decor
With zebra print and a freestanding roll top bath, Gwyneth really hits the mark with her elegant and chic bathroom proving that bathrooms can be stylish.

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Michael Kittredge – the founder of Yankee Candle’s Florida home
His home is on the market for $22.5 million and you can see why with this marble Roman bathhouse styled luxurious bathroom.

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If you had a few extra million to spare and needed a bathroom, what would be your dream decor?

 

Relax Mondays: Calming yoga moves you can do at home
Posted by admin on March 23, 2015 at 7:45 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

Yoga originated in India about 5000 years ago and is a proven way to improve your physical and mental wellbeing which makes you more relaxed. This ancient form of exercise focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing in order to control the body and mind which helps you to reduce and manage stress.

Did you know you can do Yoga in the comfort of your own home?

Before you try some of our simple yoga moves at home, clear some space and place a yoga mat/ rug on the floor.

To begin:
Sit cross-legged on your mat with your hands resting on your knees palms facing up, your eyes closed and take long, deep breaths.
-Stretch your arms out and up and then bring your hands together in front of your chest.
- Take plenty of long, slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.

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Image: www.glandwrtresalth.com

The Mountain
-Stand up tall with your arms by your sides, shoulders relaxed, feet together and focus on distributing your weight evenly through your body.
- When you feel comfortable, take a deep breath and whilst you’re doing this raise your hands above your head in a straight extension.
-Point your palms in so that they are facing each other and reach towards the

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Image: www.putmebacktogether.com

The Tree
- Stand on one leg and once you’ve got your balance place the sole of your right foot inside the left thigh.
- Keep your hips facing forward.
- Put your hands in a prayer position, palms held together.
- Whilst taking a deep breath in, extend your arms towards the ceiling keeping your palms together in the praying position.

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Image: www.charmedyoga.com

The Downward Dog
- Begin on all fours, tucking your knees under your hips and your hands in line with your shoulders.
- Spread your fingers wide, push your palms into the mat and extend your hands a few steps forward.
- Push your hips up towards the ceiling until your body is in an upside down V shape.
- Your feet should be hip-width apart, your shoulders pressed away from your ears and your knees slightly bent.

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Image: www.chacha.com

The Warrior
- Stand in a lunge position with your legs three to four feet apart.
-Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot inward slightly.
- Put your hands on your hips then relax your shoulders.
- Extend your arms out to the side with your palms facing down to the floor.
- Bend your knee until it is over the ankle, gaze over the right hand and hold the pose for one minute before switching sides and repeating

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Image: www.cryhealingarts.com

 

8 QUIRKY IDEAS FOR YOUR BATHROOM DÉCOR
Posted by admin on March 19, 2015 at 7:45 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

Everyone wants their house to stand out – but for the right reasons!
Here are a few wacky décor ideas that will make your bathroom experience unforgettable.

1) Have chalkboards instead of mirrors!
Instead of looking at your own tired face every morning, replace your mirror with a chalkboard and some inspirational quotes to put you in the right mood for your day. In fact, if you paint an entire wall or section of the wall with chalk board paint, you can change the look of your bathroom as often as you like.

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2) Get some potted plants
Things like orchids do particularly well in bathrooms as they like humid conditions. Doing something different like hanging some potted plants will give your bathroom loads of character.

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3) Add a vibrant splash of colour
If you have an otherwise muted bathroom colour scheme, adding a splash of vibrance by painting your radiator or bath, for example will give your bathroom a quirky feel.
Paint the radiator a crazy color.
4) Get some moveable arm lamps
Not just for office spaces, fixed moveable arm lamps in your bathroom are an unusual trend at the moment.

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5) Make your mosaic tiles into artwork
Either by spelling out words or creating pictures with different coloured mosaic tiles this will add a clever and fun feel to your bathroom.

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6) Oriental screens
Oriental screens can be great in bathrooms, not just for their ornate aesthetics but also as a great alternative to drapes in front of your window. If you have a large bathroom, a screen can effectively divide space and hide away any clutter.

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7) Chandeliers
Who says that bathrooms aren’t supposed to be opulent?

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8) Bold wallpaper and artwork
Add some vivid colours and patterns to reflect your personality in your bathroom. The great thing is that because bathrooms are often small, changing the colour scheme and decor can be a fairly cheap and enjoyable task.

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Feng Shui Your Home!
Posted by admin on March 18, 2015 at 11:01 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

Creating a good feng shui in your home is important if you wish for positive energy and true comfort. Feng shui is a Chinese philosophy whereby people harmonise with their surrounding environment depending on elements such as the direction in which furniture is facing. Your bedroom should be a comforting and inviting space and your bathroom should be tranquil, both rooms alike should be a space where you can relax and chill out. Here are some ways you can create good feng shui in your home:

Open windows to let in a fresh flow of air
You cannot have good feng shui in your home if the air you’re inhaling is stale and polluted, so open your windows every day to keep a good flow of air through the house. It is also good feng shui to keep doors open, even the bathroom door!

Keep clutter to a minimum
Clutter and mess make for a cluttered mind frame meaning you’ll never be content. In both your bedroom and bathroom, only have on worktops the things you like to look at, such as flowers and ornaments. In your bathroom, for example, invest in some plush, matching towels and put them on display. Paying attention to your comfort creates an environmental affirmation that you are worthy of enjoying comfort, drawing positive energy to you.

Make your bedroom a TV-free zone
Electrical devices such as TVs, computers and exercise equipment in the bedroom can destroy all of your positive energy.

Decorate with soothing colours
In the bedroom and bathroom a balanced decor promotes a good flow of energy. Decorating with soothing, pale colours will promote the flow of calming energy. The best feng shui colours for the bedroom are skin colours – anything from a pale white to a rich brown. In the bathroom try earthy, pure colours for tranquillity.

Images can carry powerful feng shui activity
For the bedroom it is advised to choose pictures that we would want to see happening in our own lives, i.e. don’t use images that may make you feel unhappy (unless you want to be unhappy.) For images in the bathroom, focus on images of water.

Mirrors (particularly in the bathroom)
In the bathroom there is a lot of water – from the water running from the taps, to the colours we decorate with. Mirrors are also representational of water in the five elements theory. They will give you pleasure when looking at yourself.

Different kinds of lighting
Having several levels of lighting such as that from candles is really important, being able to have dimmer and brighter light means that you can adjust the energy accordingly. Candles are supposedly the best feng shui bedroom lighting.

The bedroom and bathroom are two of the most important rooms in the home, so follow these feng shui tips to make the most of them!

 

Relax Monday: How to completely relax before bed
Posted by admin on March 16, 2015 at 7:55 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

You’re completely shattered after a long and busy day, but for some reason you just can’t sleep – we know how it is! No matter how tired you are, taking a few simple steps before hitting the sack is the best way to unwind and ensure a fulfilling night’s sleep.

1.  Create a restful bed space
Adapt your brain to realise that your bed is a place for sleeping and relaxing – so don’t sit in bed doing work on your laptop! Make your bed as comfortable as possible and make your bedroom an area of relaxation which will allow your brain to switch off completely at bed time.

2.  Give your mind plenty of time to switch off
Watch your favourite film, listen to some calming music or read a book to give your mind a chance to get away from anything that may have been stressing you out in the day. Writing a diary entry is a great way to achieve this; write a list of achievements to end your day on a positive note. Try not to use electronics for at least an hour before you sleep.

3.  Breathing is the most effective relaxation technique
Take deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth; aim on pushing your abdomen out and in, yet keeping your shoulders and chest as still as possible.

4.  Think about what you’re eating and drinking before bed
Milk is proven to help your brain go to sleep. Avoid consuming too much caffeine and eating too much before bed as your body will be kept awake digesting all of the food.

5.  Dispel all your tension
Writing a diary every day is a great way to wind down and relieve tension. Being tense definitely disrupts your sleeping pattern, so a great way to assist your tension is to write down any of your worries and think logistically about a realistic solution. Write down your worries and solutions on a piece of paper and quite literally throw it away – you wouldn’t believe how well this gets rid of your anxieties.

6.  Try a positive visualisation exercise
Think of a time when you have been most happy and relaxed and take yourself back to that place. Focus on every little detail of what you can see, hear, smell, taste and touch and this thought process should take your mind off any worries and relax your body for a good night’s sleep.

How do you unwind after a stressful Monday?