Saturday, 26 November 2016

What is your Christmas name?

A little bit of fun, now that Christmas is less than a month away.

What is your Christmas name?
I would be a calm, red Candy Cane.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Rabbit 101 - Neutering

Neutering rabbits is very important for many different reasons and should definitely be considered if you would like your rabbit to live a full, fun and happy life. 

Although putting a rabbit under aesthetic has its risks, as with any other animal.
But rabbits due to their size and having a sensitive system, rabbits should never be starved / should never fast before an operation. If a vet asks for you to do so, then please consider using a different rabbit savvy vet, as rabbits are classed as exotic animals and if starved then they can get gut statis and need to see a vet immediately as it can lead to further complications and death, so make sure they are eating right up to the point they go in for their operation and that you find a vet that you can trust.

Although rabbits are very cute! especially baby rabbits, without being neutered they can multiply frequently; with a sexually mature female being able to have up to 11 litters a year. A typical rabbits litter will contain 4-6 kits, although they can have as many as 8. Their pregnancies typically last around 31 days, so a rabbit can produce as many as 88 kits a year. There are already thousands of rabbits being mistreated, over flowing rescue centres, please don’t bring anymore into this world, if you have room to keep more and provide a perfect home for anymore, please consider rescuing or rehoming one that is already in need of a loving home.

Spaying a female rabbit can significantly reduce their chances of getting cancer later on in life, as there is a high percentage of female rabbits over the age of 3 that eventually get uterine cancer.

Phantom pregnancies are common in female rabbits that haven’t yet been spayed; they typically start with the female starting to be a little grumpier, change in appetite and pulling fur out from their chest to start building a nest, you may also catch them running around with hay in their mouth, gathering nesting materials. This can be very stressful for both rabbit and us humans to watch; they can last a couple of days to a full month and may only happen once or keep reoccurring. Spaying your female rabbit usually stops this behaviour and they can focus on other things.

Although it may look very cute when your rabbit/s runs circles around you, making a honking or buzzing noise, this is hormonal behaviour and mounting teddies and other things is also part of their hormones. Humping can also be a sign of dominance and your bunny trying to show you who is boss but in un-neutered rabbits it is generally an urge they have, they cannot help it, it can also cause them a lot of stress, having urges to hump and spray with other behaviour issues.

Spraying is where your rabbit may aim and spray urine at you, sometimes when you hold them, other times when you least expect it, in your face! They also tend to mark their territory with urine to let others know that, that is their area and not yours, so if you have an indoor area for them, be careful to keep an eye on your walls and furniture.

Every rabbit deserves to have a friend and must be bonded correctly, when both rabbits are neutered it is much easier for them to live harmoniously together and have a pal for life. (You can attempt bonding after 6-8 weeks after neutering, once bunny has healed)

Neutering has so many benefits and pros, including making it easier to litter train them and usually helping with any behavioural issues - so if you are questioning whether you should or not, it might be worth considering all of the above and booking an appointment with your vet to discuss it further.

Male rabbits can generally be castrated between 4-6 months, when they reach sexual maturity and their testicles are visible. (Costing around £40-£50)
Female rabbits can generally be spayed between 5-6 months, depending on the size and weight of your rabbit. (Costing around £70-£90)

Best of Luck!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Microchipping your pet

What is Microchipping?
An animal microchip is roughly the size of a large grain of rice and uses radio frequency to transmit a 15 digit number to a microchip reader, to be able to identify your pet. The microchip is safely, quickly and simply inserted under the skin of your pet, the procedure only takes a couple of seconds but should last a lifetime, apart from the odd occasion where it may fail or come out, but if inserted correctly by a vet or trained microchip implanter it is likely to last a lifetime.

The cost of Microchipping. Why Microchip?
Microchipping is usually around £10 but there are several schemes and rescues that often offer microchipping for free, it will ensure that if your pet is found then it is likely to be reunited with you as soon as possible.

Various animals can be microchipped including cats, rabbits, birds and even bearded dragons, so it is worth looking into if you have a pet. It is law in the UK as of 2016 that you MUST microchip your dogs, regular checks take place.

Microchipping vs Not Microchipping
If your animal is found and taken to a vet or professional to get checked for a microchip and no chip is found, they have 7 days for the owner to come forward, if no owner comes forward then the animal can be rehomed.

If your animal is found and taken to a vet or professional to get checked for a microchip and a microchip is found, then the 15 digit number is checked on the pet log data base, where the registered owners details should be and you will be contacted and hopefully reunited with your beloved pet.

If your details however are not up to date or they are unable to reach you on the number provided, then you will have 30 days to get in contact, after the 30 days your pet can be rehomed. So it is extremely important to keep your details up to date!

So if you find an animal that you believe may be lost or stolen, then please take it to your local vets or rescue, then hopefully they can be reunited with their owners.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Viewing in Style

An experience in The Gallery was a fantastic experience, one not to forget. 

The first time entering the Imax Odeon in Milton Keynes, we used the ticket machine to claim our tickets and headed straight up to The Gallery. You have to book Gallery tickets to use The Gallery and it is a lot extra but the extra benefits are worth it in my opinion; unlimited access to fresh nachos, salsa, cheese dip and jalapenos, unlimited popcorn sweet or/and salted and unlimited bottles of drinks, whether it be fizzy soda or water you just help yourself from the refrigerators.
You also have access to The Gallery area, bar and toilets.

The screens up in the gallery keep you up to date, so you know when your screen is ready, head through the gallery screen doors, to the screen and you have the top few rows of the cinema, lots of leg room and a table for your food and drink, sit back and enjoy the film.

I would highly recommend The Gallery in the Odeon at Milton Keynes and will be viewing that way in the near future. 
Clean and Friendly area.

Monday, 5 September 2016

10 Thoughts When Comping

Comping is entering competitions and giveaways, which I like to do on a regular basis. Here are a few tips and tricks from the comping world, that can help you succeed in winning, unfortunately there is no guaranteed success, someone could enter the same amount of competitions as another, one could win 100 prizes, the other might not win 1.

Dedicated Email address
Before entering competitions, a lot of them are wanting you to sign up to information or newsletter to be eligible for the prize, setting up a dedicated email address for competition entries, will help combat spam and help you find your winnings easier, some competitions will even ask you to validate your email address, so make sure you check your emails from the dedicated email address.

Dedicated Folders
In your dedicated emails, you might also like to create dedicated folders.
You can set selected folders with filtered words such as; ‘winner, won, winnings, prize’ to go into a dedicated folder so you don’t miss a win, but watch out for emails like ‘winner’ as when you open it, it may just be announcing the winner and it may not in fact be yourself.
When you enter competitions they may also email you to say thank you for entering or if it is entry via Gleam or Rafflecopter they often send you an email letting you know how many entries you have. I often put these in a separate folder, just in case I do win a competition and want to confirm it is a genuine win and not spam before opening or giving any details.

Terms and Conditions
Always read or at least skim the Terms and conditions, most terms will exclude staff or immediate family members that are staff members from that company, from entering.
Check if it is collection only and if it is worth collecting and from where.
Check the age requirements, most are 16 years and older.
Winners usually have to agree to a photo of them collecting the prize or for your name to be included in their article about the prize.
There may also be a clause where you are unable to win one of their prize draws for a period of time, so it is always worth checking the Terms and Conditions.

Tick Boxes
Always check the tick boxes and small print, often they will ask you to tick a box if you do not wish for them to pass your details on and then untick the following box to not send your details on, sometimes the tick boxes are below the submit button, so always check before clicking to enter. This could save you from being bombarded by unwanted phone calls and nonsense calls.

Keeping Track
I would suggest signing up to a website or comping forum to help keep track of competitions entered. On the Money Saving Expert forum, there is a ‘competition’ category where people share competitions and even the answers to the competitions, you can then ‘thank’ the original poster and mark it as ‘entered.’ It is important to keep track as some websites will say ‘one entry per household or per email address,’ but will let you physically enter more than once, so helps you not get disqualified.

There are loads of competitions out there via different platforms, websites, entry forms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media, I tend to look for free competitions as there are plenty out there. Why waste your time entering paid competitions when you aren’t guaranteed to win and you are gambling your money away.
Winnings do not have to be declared as they are a prize or a gift, most competitions are completely tax free, so other than the time given entering them, you won’t lose out.

Appealing Prizes
Entering competitions can take time, spend time entering competitions where the prize is more appealing to you, there will be some where you can win holidays, spa days, experiences and technology, all of which aren’t to everyone’s taste, although many may prefer to enter cash. So I’d spend most of my time entering for the prizes I really wanted or could make use of, otherwise it would be a waste in time and effort.

Higher chance of winning
To be in for a better chance of winning enter competitions that have a low number of entries or those that require effort, whether that be providing a photo or simply having to log into the site.

Form Filling
Certain browsers will have add-ons or will say your details for auto fill out forms. Google Chrome is a good browser that will automatically fill in your forms for you, but not all websites accept autofill so always worth looking properly, but autofill can help save you a lot of time.

You’ll often come across competitions that have required boxes or those with a star* which generally means those boxes are required to fill in and complete your entry. You’ll also notice that some are not required, like your phone number for some, only fill in the information required, otherwise you may have unwanted calls, just like if you forget to tick or untick a box.

Also something to look out for is the competition requirements of entry, as most twitter competitions will be a Follow and Retweet, but read them carefully as some require you to also ‘like’ the post or follow another account.

Those are the main points for staying safe, as well as having a good antivirus on your device you use to enter competitions. Have fun and Happy Comping!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Nando's Reviewed

Most people will at least be aware of Nando’s which is a well-known restaurant for their great tasting peri peri chicken and a great place to eat since 1987, especially if you are a chicken lover, that is!
If you aren’t aware of Nando’s then you are in the right place, but where have you been all of these years?!

I probably visit Nando’s several times a year, after finding out about it for the first time 4 years ago, when they opened a restaurant near to where I live. I’ve visited several stores and haven’t been disappointed!

Seating and Menu
Upon arriving at Nando’s you will be greeted by a lovely member of the Nando’s team, who should seat you at your desired table, usually with a couple of choice tables for you. They should then hand you and your party your menu/s, ask if you have visited Nando’s before, if you haven’t then they will talk you through selecting from the menu and the order process. You should also have been given a cockerel on your table, this is to notify the other staff that your table is occupied and you are waiting for your order. 

There is a great selection from Chicken wings to burgers, wraps to sweet potato and also a great selection of puddings you can find them all HERE, I usually find a meal without starters and pudding is more than enough for me. You need to also decide on the heat of your sauce, if you are like me then Hot is a great choice, you can select from plain all the way up to extra hot, but I have noticed it can vary from store to store on how hot, extra hot is.

I would say Nando’s meals are a very fair price, for the quality you get and the amount, on the last visit me and my partner had a meal each, he had some extra wings, and unlimited drinks and it came to just under £30, which was fairly decent and kept us full throughout the day.

Ordering and Faculties
Once you have selected what you would like to eat and drink, you should take note of your table number and order at the till. *Don’t forget to use your Nando’s reward card, you can sign up today! You will gain free food the more you use your reward card, for every time you visit and spend £7 you will gain a chilli which you can exchange for rewards.

When your order is complete you can grab yourself a drink at the drinks station, this is my most popular choice of drink (re-fill drink) as you can refill as much as you like from a selection of popular drinks or water, as well as grabbing any extra sauces you might like, cutlery and straws at the station. 

Food is delivered promptly, hot and ready to eat.

Those who have little ones, there is a baby station available, men and women toilets and disabled toilets, which are usually very clean, good size and easy accessible.

Nando’s restaurants are usually covered in beautiful artwork and has a great atmosphere amongst staff and the restaurant itself, lots of African inspired artwork with great topic of conversation, generally a clean and happy environment. The artwork and decoration runs throughout the restaurants and every restaurant is slightly different, even behind the counters and the toilets have a stunning clean finish.

One of the Milton Keynes stores

This was no way sponsored or encouraged by Nando's.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Rabbit 101 - Diet

Rabbits have complex dietary needs and complex body system, so feeding your rabbit the correct diet is essential for a healthy rabbit. Unlike the popular cartoon carrots and belief, carrots should not be a huge part of a rabbit’s diet and should be limited, if not fed at all. Unfortunately pet stores and supermarkets also sell many treats that aren’t ideal and could actually cause harm to your bunny/bunnies so please research and check the ingredients and nutritional value on the back of food and treat packets before feeding to your bunny, if unsure you are best to avoid.

Muesli – You will find rabbit muesli and food mixes in most pet food suppliers, these usually include corn, seeds as well as other nuggets and ingredients. These should be avoided, as this is classed as junk food for rabbits and can cause many health issues including: obesity, over grown teeth, lack of nutritional and vitamins leading to other major health issues.

Pellets – If your rabbit is younger than 5 months, they should be allowed an unlimited amount of good quality pellets, if they aren’t eating much hay then you can reduce the amount of pellets you are offering them.
Pellets should only be around 5% of your rabbit’s diet, they should all be similar in size, shape and colour and contain at least 18% fibre and 14% protein, with the main ingredient being some form of hay or grass. You can feed 1 tablespoon per kilogram of rabbit daily.
I would recommend highly recommend Supreme Science Selective for those that have it available to them and Oxbow for those outside of the UK.

Hay – Hay comes in a wide variety with Timothy and Meadow hay being the two most popular and accessible, fresh hay and grass should be at least 80% of your rabbits diet, this helps with their digestive system and keeps their gut moving, it also helps keep their teeth ground down as they are constantly growing. Alfalfa hay is good for younger rabbits under the age of 5 months and those that need to put on weight. *Please do not feed rabbits mowed cuttings, grass that is cut from a strimmer or lawn mower can contain chemicals from the machinery and can ferment quicker.
Hay should ALWAYS be available for your rabbit along with fresh water, bowl or bottle.

Fruit – Fruit should be given sparingly it at all, you should also treat carrots as if you would fruit when feeding to rabbits as it is just as high in sugar. The general rule of giving fruit and carrots to your rabbits, is no more than two tablespoons of fruit or carrot a day and remove all pips, stones and seeds.

Safe Fruits
Blackberries with leaves,
Kiwi Fruit,
Oranges without peel,
Raspberries with leaves,
Strawberries with tops,
Tomatoes without leaves.

Vegetables – Vegetables can slowly be introduced to bunnies around the age of 5 months, but ideally 6 months is the best age to introduce them. It is best to introduce them to a new type of vegetable one at a time and see how your rabbit reacts, by keeping an eye on their behaviour and poop, waiting 24 hours between each new food. If their poop seems less solid and soft/sloppy, it could be that a certain type of vegetable doesn’t agree with them and has caused an upset tummy, wait until their poop returns to normal before feeding anything else new. Some rabbits react badly to vegetables, so you have to judge it by the individual. Those that can have vegetables, 10-15% of their diet is a good amount to feed of feed your bunny, a mix of 4-6 different types, this can also include weeds and herbs, a cup full per 1.8kg of bunny. Dark leafy greens should be the most part of their vegetable intake, Please wash all vegetables before feeding to your rabbits.

Safe Vegetables 
(star*** means limit)
Artichoke leaves,
Baby Corn (the ONLY corn)
Broccoli with leaves***
Brussel Sprouts with leaves***
Butternut Squash,
Cauliflower with leaves,
Celery with leaves,
Courgette with flowers,
Curly Kale,
Green beans,
Kohl rabi,
Peas with the leaves and pods,
Radish Tops***
Romaine lettuce,
Spring Greens***

Herbs Herbs can also be part of their vegetable mix, they are slightly stronger in smell and taste and can take a few tries before your rabbit takes to even trying them. Bunnies that tend to have a runny bottom after eating vegetables are often more tolerant to herbs, so it is worth a try.

Safe Herbs:

Weeds are an ideal source of food for our rabbits, usually easy accessible and a natural source of nutrition. *Please only pick weeds from areas you are aware of that haven’t used chemicals or pesticides that could potentially harm your bunny, washing them will also help make sure they are clean, your bunnies can graze from these naturally in the garden as well. *Please don’t use any weeds that have been cut with a strimmer or mower, these will ferment quicker and may contain chemicals from the machinery.

Safe Weeds
Goosegrass (cleavers) 
Shepherd’s purse,
Sow Thistle,

Human foods – Human processed foods aren’t generally the healthiest for humans and should not be fed to your rabbits.

1) When changing over to a new food (from Muesli to pellets or a certain brand to another) you need to add a little of the new one to the old food, gradually add more and change it over 7-10 days.
2) If your bunny stops eating completely, for over 12 hours and isn't their self, please consult a vet immediately.
3) NO nuts, NO seeds and NO corn (except baby corn)
4) If in doubt - avoid

Monday, 1 August 2016

Receipt Surveys

I love saving money, whether it is a promotion or by using coupons. I also love the idea of freebies and competitions. 

You may have noticed that a lot of receipts often come with a survey or a giveaway linked to them now, if you've had a trip to the supermarket or a meal out. If you fill out the surveys linked with the receipts, you can get yourself some free loyalty points, a discount off your next visit, or an entry into a prize-draw. Sometimes you can gain yourself points and a prize, so it is worth keeping a hold of your receipts and following the information. 

Most of the surveys are simple to complete and will take around 2-10 minutes of your time. If you have a points card connected to that company, it is worth having that on hand, in case they ask for your points card number, so they are able to add your reward or enter you into the draw. 

So you've got your reward card, your receipt and your device to complete the survey.
Then you ask yourself… is it worth it? What is the likelihood of winning?

My answer would be, if you have a spare 2-10 minutes of your time and are happy to fill out surveys, then you have nothing to lose, but a small percentage of a chance to win, gained.

If you find filling out surveys to be a chore, then I would consider only entering for guaranteed discount, points or the prize draws you are more likely to win; for example, weekly winners or a higher number of winners. You could also consider entering the prize draws that are more appealing to you, so although you may not particularly want to win a car, there may be an opportunity to grab yourself a luxury holiday for you and your family.

Always remember to update your details for your loyalty cards when any of your details change: change of address, email address or contact numbers. This will make sure you receive the appropriate vouchers, surveys and information, especially if you entered a prize draw because you may be a winner.

Feel free to share your experiences and if you've won anything from store surveys, or your favourite discounts you received from completing a store survey, either through the stores receipt or email system. 

For me, Tesco has one of the most appealing rewards as you usually receive a chance to win a high value gift card and you receive a guaranteed amount of Clubcard points. KFC also had a rather appealing survey, as you received 20% off your next order.

Just a note to say that some companies will directly email you the survey link through your email address; if you use your Costa card, for instance, on a visit to Costa, you are likely to find an email waiting for you in your inbox.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Candle Review - Yankee Granny Smith

Candles are just one way I love to scent my home.
The mother-in-law is to blame for my love of Yankee Candles in particular - if cared for correctly, Yankee Candles can provide you with outstanding smells and memories to last forever (or until they retire their scent!)

Fresh apples, mmm… I was disappointed to see that 'Granny Smith' wasn't to be released in the UK, but fortunately some UK sites and stores had them in for a limited time only, with an offer of 20% off everything in store. How could we resist?!

The label itself suggests fresh, green, ripe Granny apples, while removing the lid, you are hit with the gorgeous scent of freshly cut apples in a cold breeze on a summers day. After trimming the wick, lighting this beauty, and placing on the illuma-lid, it didn't disappoint; the crisp freshness of the juiciest apples you can buy filled the room and the rest of the rooms in our small terrace house. The stunning glow of the deep pool on the candle was amazing and took a few hours, but there were no problems at all. We loved it so much that we took a trip back to the store and bought one at full price, before they were all gone for only the US to enjoy. At an average cost of £21.99 per large jar (623g) with around 110-150 hours of burning time, depending on the care and environment, this candle is well worth its money, in my opinion. It's one of the best Yankee Candle scents and throws I have had, and I use a lot of candles, especially the melange of Yankees I've used over the years to fragrance our home.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Introduction: My life with animals

I am a huge animal lover and would rescue every animal if I could, but I'm currently private renting; the landlord reluctantly let us have our current animals. It wouldn't be fair on the animals either, as I don't have much more space or time for any more, unfortunately.

As part of my topics on this blog, I would love to include animals, especially a guide on how to care for rabbits, as they are more complex and interesting than I ever could have imagined before becoming a bunny-mummy.

This is just a little introduction for my love and life with animals:

As a child, a lot of my friends had animals, whether it was a fish or a dog, a cat or a rat. My parents never wanted animals, or so they said, especially after having to rehome their beloved family dog when I was just a baby, and told us that we would have to be responsible for them if we were to have one, which of course I insisted that I would have been.

After years of pestering, or shall I say convincing, my mum informed me on my eighth birthday, if I recall correctly, that we were off to the pet shop to get a fish. A fish?! Trying to hide my disappointment, as I supposed this was progress, I trailed behind my mother on the walk into town.

On arrival at the pet shop, she stood in front of the hamsters and told me to choose one; fear and excitement beamed across my face. 'But these are hamsters!' stating the obvious. Amongst the wriggling, squirming, beige-coloured hamsters, there was a large, black, furry lump that had a white stripe symmetrically on each side of its tummy, which later became my furry lump, called Nibbles, a Syrian hamster.

One thing I forgot to mention was the fear my mother had for rodents; this could have been a huge issue! 

When buying a hamster from our local pet store, you got handed your new pet in a yellow cardboard carrier, to take your pet home safety. My mum informed the staff that they should put the cardboard carrier inside the cage for the walk home, just in case of an escape. During the walk home, my mum held Nibbles in her carrier, inside her new cage, whilst I carried the bag with her accessories, toys, treats and food. The sweat poured from my mother’s forehead as though someone had turned on a tap, the carrier inside the cage shaking, bobbing about. What was a 15 minute walk felt like 15 years for my fearful mother. As we reached the top of our road, out popped a hamster’s face; I've never seen my mother run home so fast.

After settling Nibbles in for the night and leaving her to get used to her new surroundings, the time had come to try and hold her. I was so proud of my mum; I could see how she merely made it through the walk home and she insisted she would be the first to hold her.

Nibbles was a special pet of mine - my first pet; the one who got my mum over the fear of rodents. Once she had held her, it was as if the fear had faded away, almost completely. Nibbles was a part of our family and I even saw a different side of my dad with her. Since then, we've always had animals, thanks to my four-legged 'Fish'.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Welcome and Giveaway

Thank you for joining me on my freshly, clean and pristine blog, it is great to have you here and I hope to share a variety of things with you all, including wedding planning, reviews, my love for candles and animals, even DIY products and money saving ideas and tips.

Let me introduce myself and then we can get to the important part where you can win yourself £10 to spend.

I’m a 20 something female, who lives in the South East of England, my hobbies include comping, looking after and enjoying time with my pets, fragrancing my home, crafting and writing to my penpals.

Crafts – are a great therapy for me, I enjoy many different crafts, it all started with my mother’s friend years ago, when she came into our class to teach us some hand sewing, she was also involved with helping the elderly with card making which I later joined in with and got hooked.
Card making and decorating small furniture or objects is the main crafty love of mine, but I also enjoy scrapbooking, smashbooking and jewellery making but I’ll give anything a go!

Wedding – Being engaged for around 5 years I’d love to share some wedding tips, tricks and ideas some of which I will be including in my own wedding planning.

Money Saving – being an avid competition hunter and entrant, I would love to share some money saving ideas, tips or even how to gain some extra cash.

Animals – I have a love for animals; especially having some fantastic, characters myself! We currently have a turtle, rabbits, a Syrian hamster and must not forget the fish, which may be mentioned throughout. Rabbits may come up more often due to them having a very complicated body system and needs, which many people aren’t always aware of, so I hope to complete a guide for caring and getting the best out of your pets in addition to caring for them.

Reviews – reviews are likely to appear on products, places and even some of my wins. I’m happy to review products if anyone has any that they would like - tried and tested.

Other posts about life or products may appear too, I wish you will continue to join me in my blogging journey.

As an introduction to my blog and a thank you for popping over to see, I would like to offer one reader the chance to win £10 to spend on whatever you’d like, paid into your PayPal account, open internationally.
There are opportunities to win via different avenues, so please don’t fret if you don’t have any social media accounts, you can still enter.


Winner was selected at random.
Congratulations to Tracey Peach.