Friday, 31 May 2019

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! 
Wednesday, 29 May 2019

A very vintage Father's day gift guide*

Vintage inspired style father's day gift guide ideas
 I pulled together a lovely little Father's day gift guide for the upcoming occasion. I thought I would put a vintage twist on it. This is from a person who can never seem to think of gifts for guys that aren't food! All of these ideas are from lovely menswear company Jacamo, the brother company of Simply Be. Hopefully these will not only serve to treat your loved ones, but take them back in time a bit too!

1. Ben Sherman round dial strap watch - this watch is so gorgeous and luxurious. I love the vintage feel about it, the weathered tan strap and gorgeous dial design exude charm from another era.

2. Joseph Joseph Dot Active Grey water bottle - a stylish water bottle always comes in handy, it makes for one of the most useful gifts, especially for the summer months ahead!
Saturday, 25 May 2019

Girly beauty & fashion hacks that blew my mind

Girly beauty tips, girly aesthetic makeup blog
Here are a few girly hacks that blew my mind... genius beauty tips and fashion tricks that will help to transform your whole routine, plus a few handy lifestyle hacks too! I hope you like my tips, I thought I would include a few favourites I've never heard on the web before... let me know your faves below... PS if you liked this, go here to learn my ultimate ASOS fashion shopping trick!
Girly beauty tips, girly aesthetic makeup blog
1. Use clear nail varnish to stop tights laddering - keep a tiny pot of nail polish with you and paste it on any snags in the tights or on any frayed ends in clothing - something else that is amazing to add to your on the go self care kit! That way, as soon as you notice any punctures in your tights when out, or catch them on anything, you can nip it in the bud and stop them from unravelling.
Saturday, 18 May 2019

Ways to become ethereal in real life

This is a little aesthetical edit I made. I hope you like it! The inspirations for this post came from ITV's Victoria. I really love Jenna's style as young Victoria, the whole set and costumes, especially the ethereal looking nightgown scenes by candlelight. Plus the fact that my favourite Stradivarius blouse came back in stock on ASOS again! I don't often feature pictures of myself so this was fun to do. I hope you will like these ideas, lovely things to put in place, practise and adopt in the comfort of your own home and/or out everyday! Here is everything you need, how to be ethereal in every day life...

1. Dress in floaty white things - here are some of my favourite picks below. I love incorporating symbols in to my outfits, like a secret language. White can represent purity and has angelic connotations. I recently repurchased my favourite Stradivarius blouse, so I always have one to wear when the other is in the wash. I am wearing it in the photos in this post. Vintage girl approved! PS check out my unmissable ASOS hack here before you order - it blew my mind!

Friday, 10 May 2019

Creating a sumptuous silky skin routine

girly pastel beauty origins skincare blog review
Me having sensitive skin, the hailed skincare 'glo up' guides of the internet, with witch hazel, tea tree and all the other amazing sounding ingredients are lost on me. My skin burns and becomes badly inflamed moments after coming in to contact with any kind of tea tree product. Here is me attempting to slather stuff on my face to see what works haha. I'd love to have a dreamy kind of skincare routine of my own, I'd love to make it some special relaxing ritual to distract me and help me zone out.
girly pastel beauty origins skincare blog review
This is in no way sponsored, beside the odd affiliate link! Just a girl trying to achieve good skin, wishing on glass skin and recommending good products when I find them. I became interested in Origins for their gorgeous face masks, how gentle they are said to be and how they benefit the skin.