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RESOLUTIONS 19 Eapseys Reci ls


Digital Edition

y mea for tastsweet and ts trea



Focus on the positives in life to improve your wellbeing


Make outdoor living more accessible all year round

CREATE A SCRAPBOOK Get more creative with your memories

Future PLC Richmond House, 33 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 6EZ

Editorial Editor Sarah Bankes Designers Laurie Newman & Madelene King Editorial Director Jon White Senior Art Editor Andy Downes Cover images Shutterstock, Getty Images Photography All copyrights and trademarks are recognised and respected Advertising Media packs are available on request Commercial Director Clare Dove International Head of Print Licensing Rachel Shaw Circulation Head of Newstrade Tim Mathers Production Head of Production Mark Constance Production Project Manager Clare Scott Advertising Production Manager Joanne Crosby Digital Editions Controller Jason Hudson Production Managers Keely Miller, Nola Cokely, Vivienne Calvert, Fran Twentyman Management Chief Content Officer Aaron Asadi Commercial Finance Director Dan Jotcham Head of Art & Design Greg Whitaker Printed by William Gibbons, 26 Planetary Road, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3XT Distributed by Marketforce, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HU Tel: 0203 787 9001 Your Serenity Second Edition Š 2019 Future Publishing Limited

Content previously appeared in this edition of Your Serenity We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill and printer hold full FSC and PEFC certification and accreditation. All contents Š 2019 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein.

Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR)

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Richard Huntingford Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244

CONT Gardening




Party perfect


Planning a winter garden


The art of letter-writing


Tasty pastries


Get closer to nature


Knit a table runner

75 5 warming drinks

108 Make a bird feeder


Make a scrapbook

96 Giant gingerbread men

112 Go with the flow


Knit a cushion cover

120 Spiced apple cake

117 I spy‌ in my winter garden


T he art of the Victorian Valentine

130 Wholesome holiday food

104 Crochet a hot water-bottle cosy



Lifestyle 10

Zen masters


Open-plan living


New buys on the block


Smart living


The art of alfresco living


Host the perfect party


Plastic (not) fantastic

98 Real-life clutter… and how to get it under control

39 Home is where the heart is… 46

7 steps to a warmer home

48 How to make resolutions (…and keep them)

100 Take your places 106 The budgets that grew out

of control

52 25 stress-free shopping tips

110 Smart coffee machines


118 Ditch the tech

A time to be thankful

62 Working 9 to 5… (in your PJs)

126 Travel: Venice


136 Small spaces, big ideas

What are your resolutions?

Mindfulness 8

What are you grateful for?


Gratitude and wellbeing

122 Stargazing 138 Art therapy



t c e f r e p y t















From small bites to show-stopper puds, celebrate fussfree entertaining with our selection of delicious recipes by Kathy Kordalis, all fit for a fabulous festive gathering










Sweet potato, pea and mint fritters These fritters are also brilliant served at brunch, as a side dish for dinner or in a wrap with salad for lunch. MAKES: 10–12 2 eggs 1 sweet potato, peeled, grated and squeezed of moisture n 80g of petit pois n 2 spring onions, chopped n 3 tbsps of plain flour n n

4 sprigs of mint, leaves removed and chopped n 1 tbsp of olive oil n Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper n Coconut oil, for frying n

1 Whisk the eggs well in a small bowl. Combine with the grated sweet potato, peas, spring onions, flour, mint, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, mixing well. 2 In a large pan, melt the coconut oil over a medium heat. Spoon in the potato mixture, one heaped tablespoon at a time, and pat down into a flat patty with a spatula. Cook for four minutes on each side until golden and crispy. 3 Remove from the pan with a spatula, drain on paper towels and serve.

Baked mini courgettes with goat’s curd

Avocado whip

This very fresh, light and simple side is perfect served at room temperature.

This avo whip has a smoothness to it and works nicely as a dip. For a much creamier and fluffier consistency, use a Nutribullet-type blender, but if you are in the more chunky avo brigade, coarsely chop all the ingredients instead. SERVES: 6 n 2 avocados, peeled and pitted n Handful of spinach n Handful of parsley

Juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsps of olive oil n Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

SERVES: 6 n 8 mini courgettes, halved n 2 tbsps of olive oil n Pinch of chilli flakes n 100g of goat’s curd or

crumbled goat’s cheese Grated zest of 1 lemon n Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper n

n n

1 In a food processor, blitz the avocado, spinach, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper into a smooth, light and fluffy paste. Transfer to a bowl to serve.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4. 1 Place the courgette halves on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes, and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. 2 Top the courgettes with the goat’s curd and lemon zest and bake for a further five minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Plastic (not) fantastic How can we make more sustainable choices when it comes to furnishing our homes?





ir David Attenborough may be a certified national treasure in the UK but until recently, his impact on home design had been pretty much zero. Then came Blue Planet II. With its images of turtles tangled in supermarket bags and albatross chicks pecking on bottles, it opened our eyes to the environmental impact of single-use plastics. But not content with ditching disposable cups and using cloth bags for groceries, thousands of us have begun rethinking our choices about the products we buy for our homes, too. Post Blue Planet II, searches on Etsy for products labelled ‘eco friendly’ rose by 218 per cent, there was a 74 per cent increase in searches for ‘natural’ buys, and a 33 per cent spike in requests for ‘recycled products’. In the summer of 2018, the craft marketplace introduced its first range focused on eco-friendly products. “We want to support customers who want to make more sustainable choices, whether that’s soy candles, succulent plants or plastic-free products to decorate their homes,” says Etsy’s trend expert, Dayna Isom Johnson.

Eco, ethical and cool

Roughly speaking, eco design can be categorised as products made with consideration for the planet (sustainable materials, less waste, fewer pollutants, reduced energy), while ethical manufacturing focuses on people (good conditions, fair wages and prices, workers’ rights). As demand grows, both these types of products are entering the mainstream, losing their rough-and-ready, hessian-and-homespun image to become serious style contenders. That, of course, makes it even easier to make positive choices about where we shop and what we buy. When you know a product isn’t made on a production line, shopping becomes about making a connection with a maker or place. The throws and bedspreads sold by online shop Kalinko, for example, are handwoven by Burmese women on wooden looms (London-born founder Sophie Garnier fell in love with the country, its crafts and its people). With mass-produced items, the materials tell a story. Ikea’s Kungsbacka kitchen, part of its Bold Sustainability range, is built out of recycled wood covered with a foil made using recycled plastic bottles. “Our ambition is to constantly increase the share of recycled materials in our designs, without compromising on quality, design or price,” says Clotilde Passalacqua, Ikea UK’s interior design leader. “We’re delighted the public’s increased focus on environmentally friendly interiors gives us the opportunity to have fun with sustainable design.”

Made to last

While sustainable design is now more affordable, sometimes it pays to invest in pieces made to last a lifetime. Tara Button, author of A Life Less



Throwaway (HarperCollins) and founder of Buy Me Once, a website that champions ‘the longest lasting products on the planet’, calls it Mindful Curation. “I think the way we buy things is broken and that’s why we end up with houses full of clutter,” she says. “Mindful Curation is a different attitude towards stuff. Mindful because it’s the opposite of our usual impulse purchases; curation because you’re picking individual pieces but also thinking about how they work together.” Tara suggests we take stock of what we already own, noticing what we use and what we ignore. “For a month, every time you see something you use or admire in your home, put a sticker on it. At the end, look at everything that doesn’t have a sticker on it and make it fight for its place,” she says. “If there are things with a similar purpose, gather them together and choose your A-team. Most people don’t realise they have 11 candle holders, say, but use only three.” Next, says Tara, we need to discover our true taste. “A passion for your home is a great start,” she says reassuringly. “Think about the aspects of your style that have stayed the same over time – the colours, patterns, textures and periods you return to. You now have a blueprint for purchases which will be as future-proof as possible.” The final step is to buy for longevity and to learn to care for our possessions. “If you’ve bought mindfully, you’ll have items that are worth taking care of, so learn what it takes to keep them going,” Tara says. “I know that if I plump my feather sofa cushions regularly, my sofa could last years longer than if I let them go flat. I’m saving myself hundreds of pounds with this small action.”

Accessible artisan

Big brands can get a bad rap when it comes to sustainability, but the high street’s power players are tapping into the desire for ethical products. Sainsbury’s Home ranges feature hand-finished Portuguese ceramics; the autumn/winter collection from Oliver Bonas includes affordable artisan glassware; while Heal’s is selling the Quill pendant light, a contemporary design in oak made using traditional steam-bending techniques. For an even more hands-on approach, search out boutiques and online stores that focus on craft products and the makers that create them–, alittlebitofalmost and are great places to start. “Not only are these locally made products beautiful, they also communicate quality, patience and skill in a unique way,” says A Little Bit of Almost Everything’s Anna Chayasatit. “Plus, work done by hand takes less energy than a mass-production line.” In other words, the next time you’re debating whether to buy something for your home, don’t always wonder if Abigail Ahern or Sophie Robinson would choose it; instead ask, ‘What would David Attenborough do?’


© Alamy


How to make resolutions

(...and keep them)


Make this the year you achieve real change by learning the expert secrets to setting resolutions that work

t’s approaching New Year and you’re taking some time to think ahead to what it is you want to achieve in the next 12 months. Making resolutions is as much a part of the New Year celebrations as fireworks, bottles of fizz and Auld Lang Syne. Every year we set ourselves resolutions and promise that this will be the year we keep them, but somehow, by the start of


February, they have fallen by the wayside. It’s not just us – the January surge at the gym lasts a few weeks before the crowds taper off. In other words, it’s much easier to break a resolution than it is to keep it. There are ways, however, you can stop this cycle. You can make effective and achievable resolutions that will enhance, improve or change aspects of your lifestyle for the better.

And you don’t have to wait until 1 January either. You can set and start your resolutions at any time of the year and begin making positive steps today. Whether you’re looking to eat a healthier diet, get fitter, take up a new hobby, learn a language or read more books, we have some expert advice to ensure that your resolutions work for you.






Get over a blip At some point, you will have a blip in sticking to your resolutions. This is often when it can’t be helped, due to illness, injury or other commitments. Sometimes it’s a wobble in willpower. Whatever the reason, the key is not to let it derail your resolutions completely. “Don’t think black and white, all or nothing. When you have a relapse – and believe me, everybody will experience that – it is not the end of the process. You just need to reboot and start again,” advises Dr Mariette Jansen. If you focus on the negative and think you have ‘failed’, you will find it hard to get going again. Instead, stop and take a moment to think about what has happened and why. If you’ve had a bad day, try not to let it turn into a bad week. Get some sleep and start a new day, back on track. When you’re trying to change your lifestyle, one day isn’t going to make an overall difference.

Why resolutions fail

It’s easy to get carried away when planning your New Year’s resolutions. You start writing down absolutely everything you think you need to achieve in your life. This is just setting yourself up for failure. The most common resolutions are to get fit and lose weight, but what this means to any one individual person is very different to what it means to another. You need to have your own specific motivation, otherwise it’s just words on a page. Life and wellbeing coach Zoe Thompson ( reveals: “I see a lot of people make resolutions they think they ‘should’ be making, but they aren’t goals they actually ‘want’ to make.” But if we’re not setting our goals based on what we want, what are we basing our resolutions on? According to Thompson, we make goals based on “what you think you should; what other people think you should; because you said you would; or because society thinks we should.” The other reason that resolutions fail is that they are far too broad. Writing down ‘lose weight’ is an open-ended goal – at what point have you actually achieved it? Without

a clear ending, your resolution is doomed to fail. We’re also prone to setting goals that are hard to accomplish; we’re sabotaging ourselves before we even begin by putting down aims we have no chance of achieving. For example, you might want to return to study a subject that’s of interest to you. There is no doubt this is a great goal, but if you’re working full-time, juggling family and short on time every day, adding in another ‘must do’ is only going to increase stress and set you on the road to failure. As Thompson says: “Setting goals/resolutions should be a challenge, but not a stress. It should be something you can get excited about and [give] a sense of achievement. It should be big enough that success will bring a sense of achievement without being so big that it leaves you feeling overwhelmed.”

What we should do

So, if we know what we’re doing wrong, how can we make resolutions that we can keep? Thompson says people who successfully make resolutions are those who really consider what they want to achieve in their life for themselves: “People who set and

achieve their goals make resolutions that are in alignment with their values, needs and what they want to achieve in life (even if they don’t know this!). When you set goals that you want to achieve, you’re willing to commit your physical and mental energy into achieving them, as well as investing the emotional involvement that’s also important. If you don’t have these elements, you’re less likely to do what needs to be done to get the outcome that you want.” Thompson also advises you should always set positive goals. “The other important element is to set a resolution around what you do want, not what you don’t want. Think, what will success look like, feel like, how will you be different, what else will be better as a result?” Before you even put pen to paper and start writing down your resolutions for the upcoming year, you need to do some real thinking about what you’re trying to achieve without causing extra stress in your life as a result. “A resolution is about change or achievements,” says Dr Mariette Jansen, life coach and meditation teacher. “Both sound positive. So, they could be a good thing, but they always add pressure as any challenge will do.”







25 stress free

shopping tips Many of us find shopping a stressful, timeconsuming and expensive experience. However, with our tips you can transform the way you shop, save money and get organised



Having to rush makes the whole shopping experience stressful. Plan the best time for your shopping when you don’t have to run off somewhere else or have any pressure – you’ll enjoy it much more. Even better, save enough time for a mid-shop coffee break to reflect on what you need to get done.



When shopping, make sure you’re prepared for the most comfortable and pleasurable experience. Pack a snack and a bottle of water. Wear comfortable shoes you can walk in all day. Carry a bag that has everything you need in it, and is easy to organise and find items in.



When grocery shopping, consider investing in a set of trolley organiser bags. These


colour-coordinated bags sit over the top of your trolley and enable you to sort items very quickly into sections. You could have one for fresh items, one for cupboard staples and one for fruit and veg, for example. As your items go through the checkout, you can pack fast because the bags hold themselves open for you. Then, when you get home, you will find it much easier to put everything away quickly as it’s already logically sorted, saving you some time for doing more exciting things.



Special occasions can be very expensive. Consider

where you can group buy, as this will save you money. It’s quite common in workplaces to have a collection for birthdays, retirements and new babies, with one person nominated to buy the gifts and card. Volunteer to take the collection when you know what someone might like, then you can have a stress-free time for future collections when someone else is organising. Try using the same approach when it comes to buying gifts for friends. Coming together as a group to buy one nice present for someone can mean they get something they really want, rather than lots of smaller presents from individuals.

“Coming together as a group to buy one nice present for someone can mean they get something they really want”

Plan your shopping trip to ensure the whole experience is pleasurable, not a chore







Make the most of self-pay and scan-and-pay checkout options. They are generally much quicker if you’re familiar with using them, and can get you in and out of a store in no time when you’ve just popped in for a few items. While waiting in the queue, get your wallet and packing bag ready to use.

Buying for others can be a tricky thing to do, so don’t be afraid to ask for ideas. A surprise present is always lovely, but asking what someone wants reduces the stress of finding the right item and ensures your recipient gets what they would really like.

Pop to your local supermarket at the end of the day and head to the clearance section – often items will be marked with coloured reduction stickers. You can pick up some real bargains, especially at the bakery where items are made fresh daily, and on fresh produce.



Have a browse on Facebook and you will find shopping groups that are dedicated to present ideas and hunting out the bargains. It’s a great way to hear about the latest sales, discounted items and deals, so you can snap up gifts as and when you see the best price.



If you have a favourite shop, sign up to its email newsletter. Not only is this a good way to find out about sales and item availability easily, many companies will give subscribers little extras and discounts for loyalty. You may wish to set up a separate email account just for this.


Gratitude & wellbeing Julie Bassett explains how the simple act of focusing on the positives in your life can have a huge impact on your physical and mental wellbeing


ometimes life has a habit of getting you down. There’s no need to feel bad – it happens to us all from time to time. The everyday routine can become mundane, and we can feel so busy that time seems to fly by without anything really seeming to happen. It can be hard to look at the positives in your life, but there are real benefits, both physical and mental, if you take the time to harness the power of gratitude. Recognising things and people in your life that you’re grateful for can have a huge impact on your wellbeing. “Being grateful for people, things and situations in our lives can create a balanced view in our mindset and lead us to experience the abundance in our lives, rather than feeling closed, deprived and constantly striving to better our lives,” explains clinical psychologist Dr Sarah Maynard ( “Learning to feel grateful shows us what there is to appreciate and be thankful for in our lives right now, and can create a sense of contentment and fulfilment, without actually changing anything. This in turn can be something that lowers our stress levels and affects us physically.” This feeling of gratefulness can impact different areas in your life. For example, instead of constantly focusing on what you don’t like about your body, remind yourself what it can do from a non-aesthetic perspective. You might be grateful to your body for enabling you to walk along the beach, bend down to pick up a child or take part in an exercise class. By turning your attention to these positives, you are


more likely to feel motivated to look after your body through exercise, healthy eating and mindfulness.

Barriers to gratitude It can be difficult to show gratitude in our lives if it’s something that’s new to us. It’s not uncommon to be stuck in a negative mindset, always seeing the downside and struggling to embrace the good. So, what can we do to begin introducing gratitude into our daily lives? Dr Maynard says: “The best way to develop a gratitude habit is to practise little and often. This helps build the neural pathways in our brain so the habit becomes more automatic. A great exercise is the ‘ten-finger gratitude practice’ (finding something we are grateful for, for each finger), which stretches our thinking so we realise how much there is around us to be grateful for, both the big stuff and the small stuff.” Give it a try and see if you can isolate those first ten things that you’re grateful for in your life right now. If you find it difficult, you’re not alone. Dr Maynard explains that there is a psychological reason why this happens: “The brain is typically able to hold on to negative thoughts (so-called ‘velcro thoughts’) because it determines that these may be important to our survival, whereas positive thoughts (including areas like gratitude) are so-called ‘teflon thoughts’ because they more easily slip right out of our minds and off our radar unless they are consciously practised.”







“There is always something to be grateful for�

Show gratitude for the things you enjoy in life, such as walking, sunshine, or breathing in fresh air


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