Monday, 4 June 2018

Bathroom before and after - Botanical


Bathroom makeover 

The second room we decorated was the bathroom, as you can see from the before photos below the bathroom was very blue with a fish toilet seat that I just could not wait to get rid of!




The sink , toilet, bath and shower looked pretty new so this saved a lot of money, we do eventually want to change the bath to a free standing pretty but for now the standard tub will do. I actually really liked the tiles too which made this make over super simple.

Paint
First up we painted all the walls white which instantly brightened and cleaned up the room, as you would have seen from previous posts from the renovation of our first home I love to accessorise and actually that styling a room is what makes a room. We are lucky to benefit from the most beautiful countryside views and from the bathroom in particular which looks out onto fields - I liked the idea of bringing in the green from outside in.


As we are keeping the bath for now we opted to painting the wooden bath panel a dark emerald green which I love and am now thinking of maybe painting another wall entirely in the same dark green! I love using plants when styling a room so I've opted for a mix of faux and real plants ( lets see how long I can keep them alive!!)  

Storage
I wanted to create a feature shelf in the space above the toilet which would look lovely but also house all of our bathroom essentials. I saw a similar design of a single hanging shelf on pinterest so George and I came up with this design which George put together by drilling four holes in each piece of wood and threading the rope through adding knots to fix the wood in place finally attaching two little hooks in which to hang them from - I think this is really successful and actually looks like it could be from a higher end interiors shop when in fact it cost us under £10! 


Prints
As the walls are plain white I wanted to add some print to the walls - a cheap way to do this is to frame your fav wallpaper! We picked up this botanical theme wallpaper from B&Q for £10 a roll which I framed in Ikea photo frames. I love how this adds print to the room without the effort of wallpapering an entire wall and is super affordable.



Accessories 
I like to mix and match accessories , I am always collecting random bits and bobs that some how just seem to come together. Lots of the pieces for this make up are actually from Matalan! I like to play with height and textures within a room so when I saw the raised planters for under £20 I snapped up three and used two for my Lush product storage. I actually used the stand from the big planter and sat a terrarium also from matalan for all my bath bombs which I love!




I like to mix metals too so opted for mostly gold accessories but kept the silver/chrome taps/radiator. We found this amazing circle mirror from Home sense along with the hanging planter which adds some height and a splash of green to this side of the room.



Details
I love adding interest with small details , a shelf is the perfect place to add some personality to a room by grouping together objects. The black wire basket is actually supposed to be used as a cutlery holder in a kitchen but it holds my skincare products perfectly! and adds another texture and a splash of black to the room. Next to this the wooden box which actually makes the boring toilet rolls look cute!

The little hexagonal box was made by George when he was at school , the random little brass apple I picked up at a carboot years ago for 20p! I use it to store my rings in when I am doing my skincare.

The test tube vases have to be one of favourite affordable accessories I have found! They are so unusual and I have just used some faux eucalyptus stems again to add in some more green and height.




I am super pleased with the bathroom but now I am thinking should I add more green? maybe to the window wall? Let me know what you think and If you purchase any of the accessories I did! 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

New home - First before and after - Utility/ toilet room



The first of my before and after series documenting the new house is not the most exciting room, however a very practical grown up room... We started with this room to relieve my mum of washing duties but also because it was a super simple makeover which has made a huge difference.

Before the room was a weird shade of dirty yellow but the actual toilet/sink was in pretty good condition , we will change the radiator at some point but for now it will do. I wanted to keep it pretty simple so opted for my fav white wall and print combo, adding in splashes of colour through artwork and accessories. 



There is a space that perfectly fits the washing machine and dryer but not much space for storage so we added two little shelves above the toilet and used crates and baskets for storage - this is perfect to keep washing powder ect out of reach of our 'little' thief puppy Bea! 

Just because this is a utility doesn't mean it has to be boring , so we added a collection of old butterfly prints , patterned tiles to inject a little colour along with a hexagon mirror.



 The hall is a working progress as we still need a new door and eventually flooring, but for now we continued the white walls and added a gallery wall for some interest. This is a super easy way to update a space on a budget and when you get bored of the prints you can switch them around creating a different look. I like to group artwork together that kind of complement or tell a story , I've opted for a nature/ botanical theme made up of greeting cards, illustrations, wallpaper samples and butterflies picked up from charity shops.






 I hope you liked this super easy/quick update! I am so excited to share the next room with you!! Only a few little bits left to finish off in the bathroom then I should be able to share next week :) 







Thursday, 26 April 2018

Life with a six month old doberman


As Bea is 6 months old on the 5th of May I thought I would do a little update on how we are getting on. I am not going to lie it has been hard work! There have been days I am in tears thinking why did I decide to get a puppy!! But the good days totally make up for the days she decides she wants to eat an elephant toy or chew Georges handmade bespoke dining table. She is my 'little' companion and I wouldn't be without her, I actually cannot remember a time without her and we have only had her for four months! She has for sure made a big impact on our lives.


About Bea

Over the last four months her personality has really grown and shone through. She is a sassy 'little' Diva who does like her own way but she is so so loving and probably the most friendly dog you will ever met ( probably a bit too friendly!!! as you will read about in the training section) She loves to great everyone we meet and looks super upset if she doesn't get to say hello. Being a Doberman she is VERY intelligent and often out wits us - there is no tricking her into going into her bed with treats! no no no she knows exactly what we are up to. 



Training 

We started Bea at a training school which actually turned out to be a very bad experience as the trainer seemed worried Bea would hurt the other puppies being she is a large breed we were matched with 5 other very small breeds which meant we were put in the corner and Bea wasn't able to join in which made her very frustrated and bored! I decided to return would be more detrimental to her development than good so we didn't go back. We started seeing a local trainer one on one which has helped massively! searching on the internet there is so much conflicting advice on how to train puppies.The trainer was able to Taylor a plan for Bea and her needs.

As she is super intelligent she picks things up really quick which has meant she is able to second guess what we are going to ask her! 

Getting her into a routine through the day has helped improve her immensely and gernerally made her a calmer dog (throughout the day) which enables me to actually work rather than play all day. This is made easier as I work from home and can stick to the same routine daily (bar weekends). Our day goes as follows -

6am I start work and Bea snoozes for one more hour 

7am pretty much on the dot she wakes up and pokes me in the leg to tell me its breakfast time!

7am- 10.30am - after breakfast sometimes she wants to play so we play ball for 20 mins or so then she settles back down usually on her favourite chair next to the glass door for another snooze or to bird watch.

11am - Most weekdays we walk around 11am with our friends Janine and her two dogs JoJo and Coleford who bea just adores! As she is so young its important not to over walk her so I find this time works perfectly for us between breakfast and lunch.

12-12.30pm is her favourite time of day! Lunch time!!

1-5pm Bea will mostly sleep/sunbathe/ play in the garden 

5pm - Dinner time

5-6pm George comes home from work and Bea has a mad hour of play and zoomies!!

7.30pm is when Bea starts to settle for evening cuddles before bed at around 10.30pm

Toilet training

She picked toilet training up very quick, she will normally jump and poke the back door keys to go out. It is very rare she has an accident, the last time she did was when it was raining outside so she did a sneaky wee indoors! she hates the rain!! 




The biting/nipping

This is getting better as time goes on , she is teething at the moment so can be a little nippy however she has learned not to bite down and doesn't break my flesh anymore! but there was a point I thought this would be something she would never get out of as she associated nipping with playing, whenever she gets a bit nippy we just walk away and stop play.

Food  

She absolutely loves her food! we RAW feed so she has quite a varied diet of meats, also yogurt, eggs, carrots ect. I also add in coconut oil , fish oil, and apple cider vinegar to her breakfast.


What I have learned 
 -Puppies are hard work! I dont think I could have ever prepared myself haha!! im not sure I will be having an actual human baby for quite sometime let me put it that way....

- Vets charge an absolute fortune! I have spent over £500 in vet bills already!! I want to avoid a trip to the vet as much as possible as shes being raw fed ect.
- Gastroenteritis - Bea eats everything in sight and picked up a bug so the vet charged me £70 for some paste and to say she will be fine in 48 hours 
- Eating a toy - £100 for the vet to make her sick and retrieve the toy
- Skin scarpe test - over £300 for skin tests as she has had a bad allergic reaction to something! we think from playing in dirty water on a walk
So along with her diet which is better than mine, insurance , training and toys she is by far my biggest expense! but most loved :) (  I wasn't saying that when she ate the tusk of her toy elephant!!! CRY CRY)

- Now she is starting to look like a proper Doberman and less like a puppy I have noticed that people avoid us on walks and are reluctant to say hello, which is a massive shame as she wouldn't hurt a fly! In fact there has been many times where smaller dogs have gone her for and shes ran away with her tail between he legs hiding behind me! shes a wuss really. 



Areas to work on

The two areas that need to most work is being able to walk nicely on a lead! she is getting stronger and stronger as the days go on and is up to 24kg at just 5 and half months! so we are working really hard with guidance from the trainer to hopefully have her walking lovely on a just a lead and collar. 

The other thing is jumping up! she will jump up and great everyone! Its lovely how friendly she is but not everyone wants a massive doberman jumping up at them, this will take a lot of time and patience as we have to remember she is so so young and everything is so exciting, im sure we will get there.

I hope you enjoyed reading this little update and im sure I will update again soon :) in the meantime if you wish to follow bea head over to her instagram I post daily onto stories to document her day too!  

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 





The BITING/NIPPING!

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!!

Feeding 

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!