Thursday, 31 May 2018

Bird rock baby moccasin boots*

Bird Rock boots shabby chic baby wear review
Earlier this month we were very lucky to get our hands on the beautiful, soft baby and toddler booties by Bird Rock Baby and now the Moccasin boot for babies and young children of all ages. I always dreamed of buying

Encourage wildlife into your garden with these tips*

Many people think of insects and bugs as pests but this could not be any further from the truth. These tiny creatures protect the garden from harmful nuisances that cause harm to your garden, so it is wise to encourage them into your space. Not only will a lively garden provide plenty of entertainment, but wildlife will also repay your kindness by keeping your garden beautiful and free of harm.
Photo by George Berberich on Unsplash, this is a collaborative post*

These five simple steps will help to encourage cute critters and soulful songbirds into your garden.

1. Choose your plants with wildlife in mind The plants that you bring into your garden will have a significant effect on how much wildlife you attract, so it is best to plan ahead when creating or renovating an outdoor space. Flowers that smell sweet, like roses and honeysuckle, will encourage creatures to come and investigate the appealing scent. Native hedgerows will appeal to local wildlife, so do some research before you plant your parameter borders. If you have space, an oak tree not only looks beautiful but offers a safe haven for large and small animals and creatures.

2. Thicken hedges and lengthen grass Providing a cover is the most straightforward and most effective method for attracting mini beasts; they will really appreciate having somewhere to shelter from the elements and any would-be predators, as well as having somewhere safe to sleep. By allowing your grass to grow just that little bit longer, and adding density to your hedges, you will be proving much-needed cover for small creatures. Thick hedges also provide shelter and a safe place to nest for birds, encouraging them to make your garden their home. Whenever you are trimming your foliage or cutting your lawn, take care and try not to disturb nesting wildlife as much as possible. Once you have created a safe haven, it is essential that they remain precisely that.

3) Bring in bird feeders There is nothing more lovely than enjoying a coffee outside in the mornings to the tune of birds going about their business, and the best way to encourage them into your garden is with a bird feeder. If you only have a small garden, or you live in a flat or apartment, you can buy ones that stick to your windows, but if you have the space, a free-standing one not only looks great but can give them a place to eat, drink and bathe, which is essential in the warmer months. Keep it topped up with bird feed from a supplier such as Little Peckers. Make sure you position your fress standing feeders out of harm's way – keep them at least two metres away from cover and be sure that pets or children can't reach. Once birds start to feed in your garden, keep up your routine as they will become used to it and will time their visits accordingly. Any plant that grows berries will provide an additional natural source of food for your feathered friends.

Small creatures tend to prefer plants that grow in the sun rather than the shade, and anything that grows at the edge of shrubbery or borders is always popular, so bear this in mind when adding to your garden. Insects and bees love flowers and the nectar within, so aim to provide a good variety all year round. Check for the pollinator logo on plant packets to get further guidance on what to buy or talk to the staff at your local garden centre.

4) Add a bird box Another way of encouraging birds into your garden is by adding a bird box. A bird box is a great way to attract birds to your garden at any time of the year. By adding these small structures to your garden, you are creating safe spaces for them to shelter from the elements and to raise their young in the breeding season. In return, you will benefit from having constant companions throughout the year, and you can even fit a camera inside your box for the ultimate bird watching experience. When installing your bird box (or multiple bird boxes, if you are hoping to attract more than one species), position it in a quiet area at least 1.5 meters above the ground, to ensure that occupants are safe and undisturbed. Be sure to keep the bird box hospitable by cleaning it out, but never disturb it when it is occupied.

Useful insects, beetles and centipedes appreciate hiding places such as dense foliage and grass piles, which is a great excuse to put off tidying your 'garden litter'. Delay cutting back your perennials in autumn, and during winter when plants are sparser, arrange piles of logs, stones or bark around your garden to create perfect spaces for hibernation - a 'bug hotel', if you will.

5) Install a water feature A pond attracts larger garden wildlife such as frogs and toads, and if you can encourage them into your garden, they will repay you by eliminating slugs and snails; both of which love to feast on your plants. If you do not have enough space for a pond or have small children (it can be a hazard!), consider adding something smaller like a birdbath or water feature. Both of these options will entice beautiful birds and butterflies, as well as critters that love to feed on various types of insects. Not only will your garden be protected, but you will also have lots of colourful creatures to enjoy. The sound of trickling water can be incredibly relaxing for you as well!

The kinds of wildlife that you will attract will differ depending on where you live and the space that you have available. Talk to your local garden centre or wildlife sanctuary to get advice on how to create a garden that creatures will love as much as you do.

How to prepare your home for a new pet

Bringing home or rehoming a new pet can be one of the most exciting events a family can experience. It's a memorable day for you, your children and for the animal you are choosing to welcome into your home, who will be a significant part of your family life. The emotional impact is something that will be a memory forever. Whether you're welcoming a dog or cat, a gerbil or rabbit, a hamster or a fish, pet ownership is a great aspect of family life and also a perfect change for your children to establish a bond caring for another life and learning about responsibility. As a pet owner, you want your new addition to quickly feel at home, safe and comfortable. A lot of that is to do with how well you prepare before your new arrival comes home. You've done your research deciding which animal and breed suits your family and lifestyle, so there are just a few more steps to make everything go smoothly. 

Be Prepared - thinking ahead, introducing a pet into your family can take a lot more time and energy than you might expect. It might be wise to book some time off for a day or so after you collect your new pet, to make sure it is settled and there are no escapes or conflicts and you are there in case of an emergency! Think ahead about how best to meet the needs of your pet - even a goldfish requires thought about where to situate their tank - away from direct sunlight to discourage algae and out of reach of any other pets, like cats. Read up on the environment that will best suit your pet and ensure they have a quiet space to relax in as moving to a new home can be a huge transition for an animal.
Stock Up On Pet Supplies - make sure that you have all the food and supplies you need well in advance of your pet coming home. From spacious and clean habitats for smaller animals like gerbils, chinchillas or rats, with plenty of clean better and food and water dispensers to that perfect cosy bed for a dog or cat. Different breeds within an animal species can require quite different diets, so shop online to stock up on the correct food for your pet from iams dog & cat food to dried insects if you're adopting a snake! Knowing the correct nutrition is the key to keeping your pet happy and healthy. You may also need grooming tools available if your pet has long fur. And there are now calming feline room sprays and plug ins designed to help nervous cats and dogs settle better. And of course don't forget a few treats for your pet to keep them happy and help with any training you might need to do. If you have everything at hand you'll be much better prepared and can just concentrate on forming a bond with your new animal and helping them adapt to their new home environment.

Something that smells like them - when bringing home a new pet like a dog or cat, especially when it is young, maybe ask the previous owners if you can borrow a blanket or toy that has their scent on it. For puppies and kittens it can be so reassuring to have the scent of their mother close by. For gerbils and other small animals, ask if you can have a handful of their old bedding to sprinkle in to the fresh bedding in their new cage. In the photos here I have Thumper as a baby!
Some time to settle in - it might be a very frightening and scary experience, especially for a young animal, so leaving them a good few hours or days in their new environment may help them to adjust, as well as turning down the light and keeping the area stress free and nice and quiet and warm.

Take lots of photos! - when your pet has adjusted and is growing in confidence, exploring their surroundings, it is a perfect time to introduce yourself as their new owner aka 'the person that feeds them'! Take tons of photos, especially if your animal is young and has growing to do, it will help you to remember the day you brought them home to live with you and all the excitement you felt! 
Thursday, 24 May 2018

Little boy's bear themed birthday, on a budget

Shabby chic boy party ideas, bear themed party
A couple of weeks ago my little boy turned three years old! I can't believe it, it seems like yesterday we were celebrating his first birthday. I wanted to make a little themed party for him and decided to get creative... I'd
Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Self love and small things to be proud of

Shabby chic vintage girl blog
Having ME... the tiniest thing like finding and putting on some leggings can leave me so sicky and sleepy I need to lie down for ten minutes. It's overwhelming and I am so conscious of my
capabilities and fight every day to meet the social expectations thrown at me. I find myself endlessly trying to convince people of my passion and desire to work, how I resent having to rest to feel normal.
Monday, 14 May 2018

Strawberries, cream and french chateau dreams

Shabby chic blog room tour
The weather has been so lovely lately and there are late blossoms still around, it has felt like a kind of paradise stepping outside to air that is as warm as it is inside. Oh, to open the windows and let the hot air in and wear
Thursday, 10 May 2018

Plan a bluebell excursion with me*

Where to find bluebells, the best places for bluebells in the UK
Bluebells, birds and bubbling becks... bliss. It was the hottest day of the year so far, a rare and blissful 24c afternoon. A sudden rain shower and now the whole forest is steaming. The bluebells seem to have
Tuesday, 8 May 2018

My goodness gracious boy and new baby launches!*

Toddler baby shabby chic blog update
I woke up this morning to a lovely smell at my bedside, a fragrance that was strangely familiar. It didn't take me long to see the emptied bottle of Dior shower gel face down on my sheet and my whole dressing table
Friday, 4 May 2018

Ice cream and trinkets...

Pastel girly shabby chic blog wishlist
Now is the month of Maying! You just caught me drooling over home decor again... I love making wish lists as part of my blog and as an excuse to go window shopping haha, even though we are meant to be saving up for