Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Pinspiration: Fun with Food

In case you're not following me on Pinterest (Why not?!) I thought I'd share one of my newest and most favourite boards with you. I've been collecting pictures of fun food and hope that one day I can have a party that serves the entire collection.

I did try to incorporate some of the ideas in to our wedding breakfast but catering companies don't seem too keen on making shark salads and ladybird canapés... booo You can see my Fun Food Pinterest Board here but here's a little snap shot. Make sure you follow the board because I'll keep adding to it.



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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Guest Post: Separation Anxiety in Dogs

After introducing you to my little Roly, I thought it would be good to have some expert advice about our furry friends on the blog.

 Separation anxiety is a common reason for dogs to be referred to a veterinary behaviorist for specialist treatment.

Many dogs bark, chew the furniture and dig holes when they are left alone, but this is often due to boredom. Dogs with separation anxiety do the same, but they are extremely distressed and panicked. They pace the floor, pant constantly and often bark and howl with distress. It's very difficult for their owner to leave home because they know they are leaving their four legged family member in misery.

Separation anxiety in dogs can be treated. It's important to understand that a complete cure may not be possible for every dog. Most dogs will respond to treatment to the extent that they can better cope with being left alone at home.

How to Manage Separation Anxiety

Every dog is different, and each will benefit differently from these management techniques. Chat to your vet about which would be most suited for your anxious dog.

Medication. 

Drugs such as fluoxetine can reduce your dog's anxiety and help him to feel calmer when he is alone. These aren't a stand alone solution; they should be used together with a carefully planned retraining program. Your dog can be taught new behaviors while the medication helps to prevent him feeling anxious and helps him learn.

Image source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/martathegoodone

Plz dnt leev me! Iz be lownly!




Image source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/martathegoodone

Pheromones. 

The Dog Appeasing Pheromone is a chemical that is produced by a bitch when she is feeding her puppies. It helps the pups relax and bond with her. It has been found that this pheromone can also help dogs with anxiety. A plug in diffuser is available that will spread pheromones through a room, and it should make life easier for your anxious dog.

Training. 

Your dog has learned that when you pick up your keys or put on your shoes, you are leaving him alone and his anxiety levels will start to rise even before you go out the door. Your vet can help you to develop a retraining program so he isn't bothered by these signals.

Special toys. 

Purchase some toys that your dog only gets when you are out. Fill a  treat dispensing toy such as a Buster Cube with your dog's kibble. He'll spend hours playing with it, trying to get the food out. (Roly loves these!)

Doggie Day Care. 

This is a great way to provide companionship to your anxious dog while you're at work. He will have other dogs to play with, comfy beds to doze on and plenty of cuddles. He may not even notice that you're gone! 

Adopt a Second Dog. 

If your budget allows, think about bringing another dog into your family. Dogs are pack animals and really aren't designed to spend long periods of time on their own. Take your time when choosing a second dog, as you don't want to create an even greater a problem.

Separation anxiety is distressing for your dog, and for you. There are things you can do to ease his distress, and this will allow you to leave your home without worrying about your dog's well being.


Thanks to Susan for this super useful guest post! Susan Wright DMV is a dog expert, a vet and a freelance writer, more articles available on health conditions as they relate to dogs.

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Monday, 24 September 2012

Feng Shui and The Humble Beanbag

I have a strong interest in Feng Shui and am always keen to learn more. I find applying the basics of Feng Shui to the layout of my flat and my office does make me feel more peaceful.

The ancient art of Feng Shui is said to have been developed over 3,000 years ago in China, but interest in it in the UK and elsewhere in the western world is considerably more recent.
The term “feng shui” translates literally as “wind water”, which is appropriate as its objective is to harmonise us with the elements of Heaven and Earth in order to create good fortune and a positive life state.
Central to its Taoist philosophy is the belief that the land has its own energy which can be harnessed for good or for bad, and that calling upon that energy enables us to change the course of our lives and to achieve greater success. Interestingly, this notion of a life force residing within the land is not exclusive to Taoism or to China, as any student of Arthurian legend will confirm.

Like other Chinese schools of thought, Feng Shui has its roots in the theory of Yin and Yang, two opposing yet interconnected forces – one masculine and the other feminine – which interact to create the essence of life around us. The relationship between the two is deeply symbiotic and despite their opposition to one another they actually nourish and support each other.

A logical process of organisation

 In a modern Western context the importance of Feng Shui really stems from the need for one’s life and everything contained therein to be correctly orientated so as deliver the maximum potential advantage, both from the mystical forces of the Universe and in terms of the simple practical benefit that is to be found in the logical process of organisation. In design terms this can include the notion of having space in one’s own life, an uncluttered living and working environment, and the freedom to think and to operate freely. A congested home or workplace can lead to emotional chaos, confusion and ultimately stress.

Furniture that is light, versatile and easily transportable such as simple beanbags have an important role to play in this process. Being able to move to the most convenient location, free from clutter, enables one to derive the greatest possible benefit from one’s environment and thereby to work more effectively or, if relaxing, to do so with the minimum of pressure or distraction.

I lykz beanbagz me chillin


It may be overstating the case to contest that beanbags bring one into a state of perpetual harmony with the heavens, but they are most certainly an aid to relaxation and a source of comfort.


Article brought to you by All Tidied Up, the UK home stores specialist.

See the rest of my posts about Interior Design

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Guest Post: An Intro to Decoupage and Appliqué

I'd like to be more crafty so I've enlisted a little help from some fellow bloggers. Vicky tells us a bit about Decoupage today. Thanks Vicky!

What is Decoupage?

Decoupage is a craft that involves sticking layers of paper on to an object to decorate it. After each layer of paper varnish is added to protect the work and give it a nice finish. Decoupage is thought to have originated in Siberia from where it spread to China and then later into Europe.

What can you decoupage?
You can decoupage practically anything you like. Common items include:

  • Furniture
  • Plant Pots
  • Photo Frames                                                                                           
  • Mirrors               


Note from Brighton C: There are some great flea markets in Brighton to find perfect furniture to Decoupage! x
                                                             
What kind of materials will I need?

  • Paper scraps. Could be tissue paper, magazine cuttings, photographs, wrapping paper, napkins etc
  • Scissors to cut up the paper
  • Glue. Mod Podge is one of the best decoupage glues on the market. It also contains a sealer and varnish.
  • Sponge. To wipe away any spillages and help smooth out creases.

Ideas

  • Try decoupaging old chunky wooden bangles to give them a new lease of life. You could either completely cover your bangle in your favourite paper scraps or you could spray paint it first and then add pictures around the centre of the band. 
  • Decoupage is extremely popular in the area of card making at the moment. You can actually buy pre-cut decoupage card making kits where you simply layer the paper and stick it down.

Appliqué


Appliqué can be applied to any type of medium but is most often used in reference to sewing. It is where pieces of fabric (or other types of embellishments) are sewn on to fabric. If you were to rip your jeans and sew a patch over the top this, although very simple, would be an applique.

What can you appliqué?


  • Quilts
  • Cushions
  • Clothes
  • Bags


Materials

  • Fabric scraps.                                                       
  • Thread. In a colour to match the project you are working on. 
  • Needle
  • Embellishments like buttons, gems, and ribbon 

Ideas
  • Transform a plain white cushion cover with colourful felt circles. Use different colour circles and sew them into lines of 3. 
  • Make a bunting themed appliqué greeting card by cutting your fabric scraps into triangle shapes. Glue them in to a line across the centre of your card and stitch along the top to finish off the bunting effect. 
  • -Find a template of a teapot online and print it use. Use it as a guide to cut a tea pot shape out of fabric. Glue the tea pot to a square plain white greeting card blank and use your sewing machine on a zigzag stitch to sew around the edges. Add a button as the tea pot handle and voilà! 



applique
Images source  craftjuice.com via Vicky on Pinterest 
About out guest blogger: Vicky runs http://www.makeyourown.org.uk/ where she writes craft tutorials that cover subjects like card making, sewing and décor. She has been an avid crafter since she was 13 with her primary passion being paper crafts. 

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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Why I'm Working for Free

I am a very lucky lady to work in a creative job that I love. I get to work with some interesting brands and be the voice of their products as a Social Media Manager. Recently, I saw an advert on Facebook for a charity called Give What You're Good at. As I had some spare time I had a look and registered on the site. It was really interesting to see that some charities and social enterprises are looking for help with their marketing campaigns.

 There are some really great causes on board and I wish I didn't need to earn a living otherwise I'd work for free for them all. As it happens I've been helping out a super brand, with great products and an amazing team alongside some legends in advertising and branding. What an honour! I'm absolutely loving the work that I'm doing and can see that it's helped the cause already, so I don't even think about the fact that I'm working for free. If you have some spare time and would like some help check out Give What You're Good At and sign up!



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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

And out comes the Implanon

If you don't know what Implanon is, you might want to skip this post. If you do, you may well be cheering as you read the title. I have had my Implanon removed after 2 and a bit years of turmoil. I thought it reason to celebrate at the very least with a blog post and a bar of dairy milk now my hormones have started coming back. 

Since I first got my Implanon, I have put on nearly 2 stone. I've had a couple of illnesses to contend with but I can't help feeling the two are related as I look back at photos of me I can almost draw a timeline of slim > fat!

The removal wasn't really painful and the after math nowhere near as bad as when it went in. I just have a few bruises and had to wear a bandage and paper stitches for a few days. It's a week today since I've had it removed and my weight is still the same, but I think I look a bit less bloaty. We shall see. I'll let you know.

implanon weight gain

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Monday, 10 September 2012

I'm in 70s Geometric Heaven

I love the geometric 1970s wallpaper prints. I would never have the guts to use the wallpaper in my flat though. The effort and cost if I didn't like it is way too much. 

However, today I have been very happy to discover some wonderful wrapping paper that can be framed and put on the wall to add just a dash of the 1970s to the dreary homes of interior design wimps like me. 

I have been following the 1973 ltd blog merrily in my news feed without realising that they sell marvellous 70s creations. Silly me. Finally I am giving them the credit that they deserve and urging you to buy their amazing wrapping paper and turn it into art:

1540. Pink/Blue.1534. Yellow/Magenta.1539. Yellow/Grey.






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Sunday, 9 September 2012

Along came a Puppy

My poor old blog has been somewhat neglected for quite a while now. I think the fact that I don't have a lot of interaction on my blog makes me think that no one will really notice if I sneak off and don't write anything for a few weeks (correct me if I'm wrong, and do leave a comment!)

The thing is, I've had absolutely loads to write about, but by the time I get home from work these days I've usually been writing all day long and have run out of steam. I'm very lucky that I get to do what I love for a living - writing. But it does mean I have less time and less inclination to write for pleasure!

Another little thing that's been taking up my time is my completely and utterly wonderfully adorable and already sort of famous Miniature Dachshund Puppy.

Roly came in to my life 6 weeks ago and has gobbled up all of my spare time, along with the bed frame, the filling from the sofa, a pair of pants and a lot of cardboard. 

Now that Roly has settled in and got himself a little routine, he sleeps more in the evenings leaving me a little bit of time to blog. I can't promise I won't get distracted though, I mean...

Miniature dachshund puppy

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