Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Meet Bea - Life with a puppy six weeks on

Lots of life changes recently, of course one of those being selling our first home and moving to our new home! But there was also another rather big change.. The day after we moved into our new home we actually collected our first 'little' puppy!!

Why a doberman? 

Anyway let me start at the beginning with a little backstory on how we decided on the breed and also the breeder. I have always grown up with dobermans, I feel they have a really bad reputation through films ect and I know with our last family dobie Sophie, people would actually pick up their small dogs and be quite frightened of her but in fact she was the softest dog ever and was probably more scared of the little dog than it was of her!

We moved into our own home three years ago and Ive wanted a dog since then but it just wasn't practical with the breed we wanted and the size of the property so when George and I knew that the purchase of our second house was going through and that it was the perfect home for a dog we started to look for a reputable breeder.

How we found a breeder

I do think if you can rescue rather than adopt then that is amazing, we have rescued most of our family dogs in the past and they have been incredible! we decided that this time we would like a puppy as it was the perfect time for me as I work from home I can properly train her but In the future we would always rescue and have even thought about rescuing a little friend for bea in the future.
Finding the perfect breeder can be a nightmare and there are so many horror stories out there! So we started by making a list of reputable doberman breeders from sites champ dogs and Kennel club which only allow reputable breeders to advertise litters. After numerous phone calls to different breeders I just had a really good feeling about Patricia, she sent photos answered all our questions and invited us to meet the puppies as well as the parents. Lucky for us all but one of the 11 puppies had homes and only one naughty little black and tan girl was left - It was love at first sight!! I instantly knew she was the one. Her mother had such a lovely temperament and was so gentle and calm cuddling into us whilst bea terrorised her little brother! hahah . Two weeks later we collected our little Bea! 

Meet bea

Bea is now 15 weeks old! We picked her up at 9 weeks and in that short amount of time she has grown an insane amount also just couldn't imagine life without her already! 

A little about Bea, she is super sassy , insanely intelligent and very loving. Her personality showed the moment we met her, she was so confident and playful with a mischievous side, As soon as we got her home it was like she had lived here for years. Now that we are able to take her out and about and socialise she is quite nervous of dogs at first and tends to hold back or hide behind us but then plucks the courage to come out and give them a little kiss! She absolutely LOVES people she wants to great everyone which means getting anywhere takes a lot longer hahah! she has made good friends with the post lady and even cries when she leaves! 

Training - Toilet/Sleeping/Socialising 

As with any dog it is important to set rules and start training straight away, we have been lucky that with toilet training she has been a star pup! very few accidents and if she has then its mostly our fault for not recognising the signs , now she will cry at the door to go out for the toilet. 

Sleeping we haven't had a problem with , the first night I think she cried for a few minutes but soon fell fast asleep! Now by 10pm shes pretty much asking to go to bed. I warp her up in her bed and she stays put until 6am when we get up. We decided not to go down the crate training route just because I didn't feel very confident with it but I hear that it can be a great tool for training and providing a safe and calm place for the dog.

From before her vaccinations we would take her out as much as we could , just holding her in our arms so she could experience the different smells , meeting people from that young age. I really think that helped immensely as at 12 weeks when we were able to walk her she was a little scared at first but then she really just loved meeting everyone and really started to enjoy her walks.

We have been lucky that a friend of mine lives nearby with two dogs and another friend has a puppy only two weeks older than bea so we have been able to regularly socialise her with dogs of all ages and she really does love them! its so cute seeing her run up and greet her pals! haha 


Bea would be the perfect puppy if it weren't for her nipping and biting! at first she would constantly want to bite us! in fact my hands are in a right mess from her pesky little shark teeth! there were many days were I would say to George shes the devil she hates us! I thought it would never stop! But slowly she is starting to understand that human flesh is delicate and its not right to bite. You read so much information online of how to stop biting and all very conflicting, we literally tried everything! it felt like nothing was working. I think the technique that works for each puppy could be very different but for Bea yelping and saying NO just caused her more excitement - she thought we were playing and would bite more! The only thing that has started to work for Bea is putting her out of the room in a kind of time out, that or just walking away not saying a word and ignoring her. Sure enough over the weeks we have noticed we are putting her in time out less and actually go through entire days without a bite! SUCCESS! haha

Puppy Proofing the house 

Ok so put everything up high! Bea will find and steal everything! She loves shoes and we regularly find her in her bed chewing on one of our shoes that shes pinched from the cupboard. I left her for 20 minutes came back and she had eaten/shredded an entire kitchen roll! We use stair gates to stop her getting up upstairs even though age 10 weeks she broken one down and we found her starring at herself in the bedroom mirror!!


We are raw feeding bea so lots of meat, bone and then slowly introducing some fruit and veg! She loves banana and carrot! 

How I feel now

Having a puppy is A LOT harder than I thought it would be its not all cuddles and kisses! I really do not know how people have puppies and dont work from home! its literally a full time job in itself. However hard work its so lovely to have my 'little' companion to keep my company though the day and to have that little face so happy to see me in the morning. We are working hard to train her and make sure she is the most lovely adult dog she can be! Hopefully we can crush some of the stereotypes of what the breed are thought to be and share the really lovely nature they have.She starts puppy training this week so maybe I will write another post in a month or so and let you know how we are getting on.

Bea has her own instagram if any of you would like to follow her! Beas insta!

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Renovation plans for the new house

New home means I get to do my most favourite task of planning the interiors! and of course having only being in the house for just two weeks I have put together a mood board for each room and I thought it might be nice to share my initial ideas so we can see what route we actually go for. The house is a large 3 bed detached cottage so there is plenty of space to play with! of course I will share each room before and after photos as we decorate.

My initial ideas for the hall will be to keep it quite bright and white adding in some quirky art work for pops of colour , height from plants/ flowers. We also have a separate cupboard for shoes/coats and a good sized utility and toilet room off of the hall.

Living room
The living room is quite a big space with two big windows an old feature open fire place and ceiling beams, its got quite a cosy vibe already but I would like to add a modern twist with lighter colours mixed with the dark beams. Statement coloured chair in a little reading nook , of course artwork! One side of the fireplace I would like a little seating area built where we can keep wood underneath for the fire.

Dining room 
 I am thrilled to have a separate space for a dining room! In our last home I had one room to use as a living/dining/work room. The dining room is surrounded by windows looking onto fields and to one side a little courtyard which will be perfect for BBQs and dining outdoors in the summer as its such a cute private little area. For the dining room I am either thinking of using a navy or a nice forest green to compliment the fields and bring the outdoors in.

The kitchen will be a big renovation as eventually we would like to extend and add lots of glass to again make the most of the insane views. This will be one of the last rooms we renovate as it will most defiantly be the most expensive.

 The bathroom
The bathroom isnt actually that bad , I really like the tiles and separate shower. The bathroom is a really good size so I would really like to eventually switch out the bath for a free standing roll top bath. This will be one of the rooms we decorate first as I think we can make to our style pretty cheap with what is already there.

Main bedroom

The main bedroom is pretty big with beams on the ceiling and two windows. I am toying between using navy or the dark forest green - So its navy or green for the dining room and bedroom haven't quite decided yet!But I really like the richness of the green in the images below and how they bring a warmth and opulence to the room. I would also like to DIY a large wood headboard to make a statement and focal point to the room. Also I am on the hunt for a pretty dressing table to upcycle! 

Then we have two other bedrooms which will become guest bedrooms ( I haven't planned these out yet! haha) Then the upstairs hall which has large open walls and a big window over the stairs looking out to the fields - Definitely needs some big pretty artwork. 

Can you tell I am excited to get started?! Its going to be a long process as we have work to do structurally as well as some work to the outside. 

I hope you are excited to see the upcoming makeovers! 

Saturday, 20 January 2018

What I learned selling our first house and buying our second

When we bought our first home three years ago I wrote a post about my experience and what I had learned so I thought some of you might be interested to read what it was like selling that property and buying our second. Now let me tell you selling and buying is a hell of a lot more stress than buying your first...

  Our new home! dont worry that playhouse will be going and George will be making a turquoise door asap!! 

So what have I learned

- DONT DO IT!! - well no do but prepare for one of the most stressful times. Everything seemed so much harder buying our second home than it did being first time buyers.

For starters selling your first home. To go with an estate agent or not? we toyed with the idea of using sites like purple bricks to save on fees but in the end decided that as it was a first time buyers home it would be better to sell through an estate agent as the buyer might feel more at ease with the process than if they had to deal with us direct. We got three valuations one was VERY low the other two were pretty similar and we ended up going for the agent that quoted the mid range just because we preferred the approach he had but we put the house up for sale a little more than he had suggested.

Looking back now I do question if we did actually need to sell through an estate agent as I really only spoke to them a handful of times, they did the viewings for us but our house did sell relatively quick (as I said it is a first time buyers home so was on the lower end of the market). Did they really warrant the £2,600 price tag?! Maybe this was an area we could have saved on and perhaps in the future we wouldn't use an agent.

- The mortgage - So once you have your house valuation this will give you a rough estimate what you are set to make on the property and use towards your next. Luckily we managed to make around £54k in the three years just through updating and decorating so this would give us a good start when looking for our mortgage top up. Long story short we ended up sticking with the bank we had our first mortgage with as it would have cost too much to end the contract, however if we were nearer the end of our term we could have got a lower interest rate else where (its all a lot of numbers!)

- Being self employed - Again as I stated in my previous post what I learned buying my first home being self employed adds a whole lot of paperwork and stress when it comes to applying for a mortgage. They see you as a massive risk if you are self employed so expect extra checks and longer wait times, we got there in the end and left with a rough price range in which to start our house search.

- FEES -  Paying stamp duty, solicitor fees can amount to a lot of money which we didn't really think about too much when we were viewing potential new property's. What I learned was that when you get your rough guide to how much you can afford deduct £10k-£15k from that estimate to allow for the colossal fees! we ended up with a final bill of £14,810.30 OMG crryyy cryyy! Those fees included stamp duty, solicitor fees and estate agent fees.

Selling our home - As you would see from my blog we pretty much redecorated and renovated the whole house doing most of the work ourselves. Now this saved us a lot of money at the time but when it came to selling the house we realised we needed fensa certificates! The problem arose from a tiny rotten old window to the side of the house which George replaced with a lovely new one after a lot of back and forth between solicitors (costing us money) it was finally agreed that we would pay an indemnity insurance on the window. This could have been avoided if we would have known that certain work you do on your property needs to basically be signed off and given a certificate to say that it is safe. Luckily this didn't hold the sell up too much but it could have gone on and on if the insurance agreement hadn't been finalised. Lesson we have learned is to keep records of any work and fensa certificates!!

I could go into more detail but I do not want to bore you! if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or send me an email :)

To sum up our experience I would use one word LONG ...
But we got there in the end and on the 5th of January we waved goodbye to number 8 fortview terrace and moved into our 'new' home! which is actually over 200 years old and is quite a big project but I think it will be so pretty when we are finished, I will of course be sharing our renovation journey with you all too.

Happy New year!

Emma x

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Updating home accessories for autumn with TK Maxx and Homesense

As you all know I love updating my home throughout the seasons as its such a quick and simple trick to changing up any room without spending a fortune and with very little effort. I was contacted by TK Maxx to head into store and see what I could pick up so I thought I would share the treasures I found.

Candles are such an easy way to give a cosy feel to your living room and I found this super pretty glittery one! I think this would also make a lovely gift for christmas and they had lots of different scents and colours - I opted for the yellow zest scent with multi colour glitter top which gave a pop of colour to the table but also smells insane!

Picture frames are something I am always picking up as I love to group them together and create a little display, they are easy to move around and switch up with photos or prints to add a little interest to a boring corner. The frames I picked up this time were super affordable and I just loved the mix of textures with the wood, gold and slate.

Let me know how you will be changing up your space and what treasures you have found in TK Maxx or homesense recently! I love that every time I head into store I never know what I will discover. 

We will be moving house soon and I am so excited to have some new spaces to decorate!