Friday, 7 July 2017

Oscar's First Birthday

Birthday celebrations with Oscar

This gorgeous blue eyed, little man, is my nephew, who turned 1 a couple of days ago. Unfortunately we do not live that close to his family so we travelled up at the weekend to celebrate his birthday. He grows so much every time we see him and I can't believe it has been over a whole year that this little man has now been on this planet, he is such an angel and started learning to walk, so his walkers that he received as gifts from others went down a treat!
We celebrated with playtime and a barbecue outside in the glorious Yorkshire sunshine, with great company and some lovely food, Oscar sat in his new pool with his toys; giggling and playing - his laugh is so infectious, until it was time for more playtime and time to explore the garden.

I created his card with a 6x6 inch blank card and envelope, some brown kraft card for matting and layering, 3 gorgeous decorative sheets of paper, some ribbon from my stash, Hobbycraft's self adhesive, glittered number and letters and a fabulous toddler image from LOTV art pad.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Mum's List Film

A heart warming, emotional roller coaster of a film, based on a true story, about the loss of a mother to cancer. The film switches between three different times, now, when Kate, the mother is no longer with us, from around the time she was diagnosed and throughout the treatment, and to around the time they first met when they were teenagers and first got together.

When Kate first gets diagnosed, they have a positive outlook, as their son, who had previously been diagnosed, had a much smaller chance of survival and is still here today at the age of 5, they got through it as a family and that is what they intended to do again!

We slowly see her deteriorate through having a mastectomy, to chemo and then radiotherapy, but the cancer spreads through to her lungs and bones, she is eventually hospitalised.

We see the family coping as best as they can, after she has past, but just when everything goes well, those moments where you start to enjoy yourself and make a slip up - the heart wrenching moment, where Singe is out at a club with friends and he turns to ask Kate, who was no longer around, what she would like to drink, you can really connect with the character and feel the sunken feeling he must have been going through, throughout the journey and through moments like these.

Kate's list and requests are revealed throughout the film, a great film but I would recommend to have a box of tissues handy!

xox acres and acres xox

Friday, 12 May 2017

Woodland Walks

I love a good walk, great for both physical and mental health, there is plenty to explore through Chiltern walks and nature reserves.
Here are just a few photos I have taken when on a couple of walks with some spectacular views, you can see for miles.

Watlington Hill

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Netflix Series

Netflix is an online streaming service which you can stream via most devices and sometimes even built in to your Smart TV. 

There is so much choice, from old movies, to more recent, from comedies to horrors, even includes cartoons and Netflix exclusive films and series, with so much choice it is hard to decide what to watch!

They currently offer 3 packages, ranging from £5.99-£8.99 a month, although they do offer a free months free trial for those that are not yet a member. All UK Packages contain the same content other than the amount of people that can be logged in at one time and HD and Ultra HD isn't available in some packages.

Me and my partner love to sit down together when we get the chance and watch films on Netflix, being available on so many devices it is even great if we go away somewhere, as you can even download certain films and series. Here are some fantastic series I would highly recommend and we both enjoyed as a couple, please feel free to share your favourites and give us some ideas to watch.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
How I met your mother
Pram Face
Gavin and Stacey
Bad Education
The Delivery Man
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Don’t trust the B---- in Apartment 23
One day at a time
Grounded for life

Stranger Things
The Returned
Being Human
Orphan Black

Dexter has to be our absolute favourite, but with series 8 being a big disappointment; a socially awkward, forensic technician, specialising in blood spatter pattern analysis, who has urges to kill but his adoptive father had taken him under his wing to show him the correct way and bring him up as well as his could, those that deserve to die and torture others, get what is coming to them.
This will leave you gripping onto the edge of your seat, unbelievable moments, leaving you cheering for Dexter Morgan, but he isn't the only killer in town.
I highly recommend even for those that usually aren't into the thriller, crime series, this will leave you wanting more.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Lollipop Hamster makes

Hamsters need a lot of enrichment, this is where you can get creative and make a variety of different toys and decorations.
Just using some lollipop sticks, coloured and non-coloured sticks and some non toxic glue (this can be a non toxic glue gun or wet glue, as I used - Hobbycraft, Tacky Glue) you can make many different designs and structures and they will all match too!

Using just 9 sticks you can create a basic structure that will be able to be turned into a house, climbing frame and even a swing. 
Start with 3 sticks to create a triangle, then repeat and leave to dry.

Then connect them together with 3 more sticks, as shown.
This is the base to many makes.

To make this structure into a climbing frame, you can create 2 panels, with 12 lollipop sticks, adding 1 either end. Then repeat and leave to dry. You want to ensure there are no spaces between them, so that the hamster doesn't get their paws stuck between them.

You can then add cut down lollipop sticks to add some ladders.

 Sticking the two panels onto the side of your basic structure, you will then have a complete climbing frame, where the hamster can climb over and go through.

Using the same structure you have the base of your swing, which you can create a panel and hang it via some natural twine.

This is a simple hut, where you can even write their name on top of the door, to personalise it to your hamster.

This has to be one of my favourites for decoration, my little park bench.

I really enjoyed creating this items and I hope you like them.
With anything please ensure they are completely dry before and aired out before placing in your hamsters habitat, for them to enjoy.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Mini Giveaway - Silver earrings

For your chance to win these gorgeous stud earrings...
Enter via Facebook - Just Comment on the competition post
Enter via Twitter - Just Comment on the competition post
Enter via the Blog - Just Comment on this competition post.

Competition starts on Sunday 12th March 2017 at 18:35
Competition ends on Friday 31st March 2017 at 23:59
All entries from all networks will be added up and one winner will be selected from all entries.
You can enter on all three (3) platforms - maximum of three entries per person.
UK Entries ONLY.

Competition now closed.
Congratulations Wendy Ward who has won the pair of earrings, who entered via Facebook.
Thank you all for entering we had 97 entries in total, good luck for future competitions.

Listed on Loquax Competitions

Friday, 10 March 2017

Sims 4: City Living

The Sims is a game most of us know well and love, it has evolved and developed tremendously over the years with graphics, add-ons, different effects and furniture. There is so much to do on the Sims 4 - available on PC and Mac.

This week on Origin, the third expansion pack in the series, The Sims 4: City Living was on offer at a whopping 55% off! As someone who has grown up with The Sims and has a partner who is also a Sim fanatic, this expansion pack sounded like a great change from the usual Sims style. You can rent yourself an apartment, have noisy neighbours which can drive you crazy, as well as being a social blessing and even added locations and jobs, not to mention the fab addition of lots of furniture, to design your own home.

The Jobs include critic, social media, and politics - an hour before work your sim will get an alarm notification where you can choose to go to work, work from home and even take that day off.
San Myshuno is the new location added with a choice of 21 apartments and 3 penthouses, you can get to know your neighbours by knocking on their door, whether you just want to chat, hang out or even bang on their door, to tell them to keep the noise down, as this will anger your Sims if your neighbours are partying, arguing or loving too loudly.
You can even give your neighbours their own key to your apartment, if you get to know them well enough.
You may need to call your landlord though if you get cockroaches, gremlins, rats and if anything breaks down - but don't forget to pay your rent on time with the mail box in the hall near your apartment.

Me as a Sim 😁

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Kerbl Grass

We were sent this as part of a hamper for our bunnies, excuse the tattered box!
Kerbl grass is created for rabbits and rodents - easy to grow, grows fast and enjoyed by many and only retails at around £2 - if cared for correctly it can last quite sometime too.

You will receive the a plastic rectangular container and a bag of seed mix.
Just sprinkle the seed mix and wet generously.
Keep the mixture of seeds moist.
In two-three days your grass should start to sprout.
Within a week you should have some gorgeous tall grass.
 Eventually it will fill out like the stock photo.
Once it has reached 5-6inches, trim where necessary and feed straight away.

 As seen by our quality control, it makes a great tasty treat!

This grass is usually available as part of the Zooplus reward programme for around 100 points (you gain 1 point per pound and can also gain points by referring friends or other promotions) If you have never joined Zooplus before then get a friend to refer you, as you will get 10% off your first order.

 I was given this product as part of a rabbit hamper, that I won via Voucher Angels' Facebook page, I was not prompted in any way to create this post, just an extremely pleased and appreciative winner.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Introducing Roxy and her cage for this month

Meet Roxy, our Cheeky, independent, intelligent, mischievous, little lady.
She is a cinnamon, banded, Syrian - friendly but with lots of attitude.

I thought I would share with you Roxy's cage design for this month.

Zoozone 2 (Large)
Meshed the lid with Wilko welded metal wire.
Made a stopper for the water bottle hole (as seen in below picture bottom right) from plastic.

Dust extracted wood-shavings and natural Carefresh.

Top, left to right: 
Ceramic dog bowl with Little Farm Friends pet sand for her sand bath,
Whimzee toothbrush, (edible treat)
28cm Trixie Wheel,
Rosewood Woodies Small Caterpillar,
Living World Glass Bottle and Bottle Holder,
Ferplast Wooden House.

Middle, left to right: 
Wooden Playsticks tunnel,
Small Animal Arched Play Bridge,
Happy Pet Raw Wooden Hideaway.

Bottom, left to right: 
Small Animal Play Tree Chew,
Rosewood Boredom Breaker Natural Carrot Woodroll, 
Rosewood Shred-A-Log Corrugated Tunnel,
Pipkins Seagrass And Corn Nibble Tunnel.

I just need to add some more hanging toys and it will be complete for March's natural theme.
I may add some soft hay in the corner later too, as she loves playing in it and adding it to her bedding.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Pop Collecting and Competition

We have a slight obsession with Pop Vinyl figurines in our house; the cute little faces, the stunning painted detail, the known characters.

The obsession started a couple of years ago when we saw our first Pop Characters appear in most game related stores and now they are appearing in most stores including supermarkets and toy stores. They are designed as characters from Films, Games and other well known characters, you can even build your own now - which may have to be done!

I believe our little bobble head Spiderman was our very first purchase, but then he needed a friend and Batman suited. Our next trip was to a toy store where Olaf may have been on offer, so he had to come home with me and a minion may have shortly joined in the fun too.

The collection grew rapidly and we decided to box them back up - one for storage and two as they look fantastic in their original boxes, on our display wall. Now people always know what to get us if they cannot find something as a gift - they check with us first just to be on the safe side as they may have lost track!



You could have your very own Pop Character - Any Funko Pop up to the value of £15 with Buy Pop Vinyl's launch competition, ending on Sunday 5th March 2017 - so get your entries in now - you have just 7 days left to enter!

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Electra Autumn Binky

Electra Autumn Binky

Electra is a stunning fairy created and brought to life by Imogen's Fairytales, created specifically for me. My brief was Teal and Bunnies - of which she definitely has fulfilled.

The name:
Electra - Sparkly, fiery sun in greek.
Autumn - Beautiful colours and flowers.
Binky - Happy Jump of excitement that bunnies can't control.

Electra is a feisty girl who stands up for what she believes, she absolutely loves caring for people and animals, she adores the autumn months and cosy nights in, snuggled up with blanket, candles and a good movie. She usually spends her day looking after the animals and helping her mother, by looking over her when she is crafting and offering her unique thoughts and opinions.

Imogen's Fairies / Facebook / Instagram

This post was created purely by myself and was not endorsed in any way or encouraged to write my opinion and thoughts.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Hamster Care

Basic information on Hamsters

Syrian - Syrians are solitary animals and must be kept alone and never introduced to others, these are the largest breed of domesticated hamsters, usually advised for beginners as they are generally easy to handle due to their size, also known as Teddy Bear hamsters.

{Campbell, Winter White, Russian Dwarf, Robo and Chinese}

Campbell - Campbell hamsters can be kept in pairs or groups providing there is enough space for them, they are from the same litter, have always been together and are of the same gender, they should have at least one of each of everything per hamster and keep an eye on them as they may begin to fight and will need splitting up, unfortunately once split you cannot reintroduce.
Winter White - Winter White hamsters can be kept in pairs or groups providing there is enough space for them, they are from the same litter, have always been together and are of the same gender, they should have at least one of each of everything per hamster and keep an eye on them as they may begin to fight and will need splitting up, unfortunately once split you cannot reintroduce. They are given the name Winter white as during the winter their coat will turn much lighter and in the summer months they will go a much darker brown or grey colour. You are often given papers if they are a true Winter white breed.
Hybrid/Russian Dwarf - Hybrid hamsters are cross between Winter whites and Campbell's we call them Russian Dwarf hamsters in most places, they can be kept in pairs or groups providing there is enough space for them, they are from the same litter, have always been together and are of the same gender, they should have at least one of each of everything per hamster and keep an eye on them as they may begin to fight and will need splitting up, unfortunately once split you cannot reintroduce.
Roborovski - Roborovski hamsters, also known as Robos, can be kept in pairs or groups providing there is enough space for them, they are from the same litter, have always been together and are of the same gender, they should have at least one of each of everything per hamster and keep an eye on them as they may begin to fight and will need splitting up, unfortunately once split you cannot reintroduce. They are super cute, the smallest of the breeds and fast little creatures.
The whiter the Robo the more prone they seem to be to neurological disorders, which can be devastating, which is usually down to genetics but can be brought on by poor environment.
Chinese - Chinese hamsters are solitary animals and must be kept alone and never introduced to others, they are mouse like hamsters as they have a longer tail than other hamster breeds but stunning creatures, but hard to come by in the UK.

Life Span
Most hamsters live around 2-3 years.

Male and female hamsters aren't much different to care for, they all have their own individual personalities. Females do go into heat every 4 days for a couple of hours which can leave them smelling a little more but I personally have not smelt much difference and found females to be a lot more lively. Male Syrians also have large male area which can be a third of their bodies, so it is quite easy to tell the difference when a male and female hamster has reached maturity, ladies will have nipples on the underside of them. You may also notice some spots on your male hamsters, these are nothing to worry about and are their scent glands, Syrians have their scent glands one on each side of their hips, some are more visible than others and can become greasy if overactive. Male Campbell, Winter White, Russian Dwarf, Robos and Chinese hamsters have a scent gland on their tummy/underside.

Hamsters are one of the inexpensive pets, once you have the set up and depending on how much you want to spoil them! They do not need regular vaccines, check ups etc. Just for you to keep an eye on them and their health.
Initial set up around £50-£80
Food around £8 which will last some time, if kept in an airtight container
Money aside for any vet bills. An emergency vet can start at around £120 just for a call out fee so having around £500 aside per hamster is a good idea incase of any emergencies.

Unfortunately most store bought cages supposedly made for hamsters, aren't suitable, just because they are small animals, some people believe they do not need much space.
In the wild hamsters are known to travel 4-5 miles a night, so it is important to include enough space and enrichment for your hamster/s.
Cage size - All hamster breeds need just as much space as each other. 70cm by 40cm should be the absolute minimum of one unbroken floor space, so not including levels. Hamsters tend to do better with single level cages, although you can add levels but make sure there is something to break their fall if they were to.
Substrate - Their cage should be filled with deep safe, burrowing material, some people use woodshavings as long as they are dust extracted and kiln dried, others prefer to stay away from woodshavings as they are a debatable subject. A good layer of Carefresh is perfect but can be costly, so many people opt for Fitch, which is a similar material but much cheaper and you can buy more of a bulk of it.
Bedding  - Most shops sell the dreaded fluffy style bedding, this is unsafe and many hamsters have lost their lives and limbs to it. Bedding should be warm, safe and easy to manoeuvre and create a nest with. I would highly recommend Carefresh as bedding or ripped up unscented toilet tissue for a cheap alternative.

Hideaway/House - Being prey animal hamsters love lots of hideaways and places so they can store their food and get away from predators easier, this will help them feel safe and secure. A good large house for them is also a must, I would avoid plastic houses, as chewing them isn't great and your hamster can wake up damp from the condensation left in a plastic house.
Wheel/Saucer - Wheels are fantastic for hamsters as they would run miles in the wild. If you provide a wheel, which I personally think is essential then it must not let your hamsters back arch, so you should make sure it is the correct size, is a solid wheel (no splinters, no wired wheels, no holes that their little feed can get trapped in.) You'll need the same size saucer, if you choose to offer a saucer, instead of or as well as a wheel, than you would a wheel. I personally found wheels fantastic for Syrians and the smaller breeds tend to prefer their saucers.
Syrian Wheel size 9-12 inches 
Campbell, Winter White and Russian Dwarf Wheel size 6-8 inches+
Roborovski Wheel size 6 inches+
Chinese Wheel size 8 inches+
Sandbath - Sand baths are important as hamsters shouldn't be bathed in water, so offering them a sand bath can help keep them clean and be great fun for them too!
All you need is a large ceramic bowl or similar container, big enough for your hamster to fit in with extra space and fill with Chinchilla sand (not dust) or Tiny Farm Friends pet sand. You can use children's sand but you'll need to bake or leave out for it to dry out and it doesn't clean your hamsters fur as the grains are bigger, it would be more for fun, so Chinchilla or pet sand is much better as does both jobs. Please do not use builders sand or bird sand, these are bigger granules, much sharper and the bird sand contains pieces of shell.
Bridges and Tunnels - Bridges, tunnels and tubes are great for natural instincts, as they would create them in the wild, they are also fantastic for them to stash their food and for climbing over and on.

Hamsters are omnivores which means they can eat meat as well as the usual veg and hamster food.
I'd highly recommend a mix of pellets as a base diet, if you don't offer them anything else. Burgess Excel Dwarf mix and Science selective mixed together is perfect for dwarfs, it ensures they get all of their nutrients and vitamins through the pellets but the foraging through the dwarf mix. For Syrians I would highly recommend Harry the Hamster mix and Science selective, again they get all of the nutrition they need with just these two products.

Dwarfs should ideally stay away from a lot of sugar - honey, corn, fruit and carrots as they are more prone to diabetes, so nuts and seeds can also cause a problem as they are high in fat, so just be cautious.

A hamster only needs around 1 tablespoon / 20g of food daily, if they have lots stored (they store their food in their nests or areas like they would in the wild, to make sure they have enough food.) then you can start to limit their food until they have eaten it all.

I would also recommend scatter feeding. (Scattering food around their cage, rather than using a bowl, is great enrichment and encourages natural foraging) 

Your hamster/s will need cleaning out regularly, spot cleans are the best, checking their nests for any uneaten food, removing any perishables and changing any soiled bedding or areas. A full clean is best to be done every few weeks or every month, as if you do it too often it can cause stress to your hammy and remove all of their scent, so always worth putting a tiny bit of their old bedding in to keep their scent around, obviously if it is clean.

Photo of hamsters credit: Sadie-Elloise Garnett (Syrian 2), Danielle Sommerville (Syrian 3), 
Dow Kengradomying (Campbell), Harry Williams (Winter White), Georgia Smith (Syrian 1&4 and Russian Dwarf), Crystal Shaw (Robo), Bethany Anne Hinton (Chinese)

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Scentsy Sensation

As a scent lover, I love all things smelly - car fresheners, candles, perfumes etc. 
Scents can bring back memories and put you in the moment, certain scents you can associate with certain things or people, they can be so powerful.

I've seen Scentsy around for awhile, it was founded in 2004, they are a consultant based company, so you'd order through your local consultant or host a party with your friends, invite the consultant and get a commission depending on the amount of sales. But as someone who already owns too much wax, whether it be in the form of candles or melts, I haven't yet tried them. Until now.

A local lady was offering a 'borrow bag' where I would borrow her scents, warmer and a couple of samples of wax melts - all for free, to try, as long as I looked after them!
How could I resist?

I worked my way through sniffing all of the scents, marking down which ones I liked, loved and those that I wasn't so keen on. My results aren't necessarily a reflection of what smells good and what doesn't, we all have our own tastes and I personally prefer, perfume, fresh and fruity scents, which reflected in my selection.
I am absolutely in love with the Romance collection and Scentsy Men in particular.

Scentsy focus on burners and wax melts, although they do sell a couple of other things like car fresheners. They have some gorgeous warmers, they work by plugging into the mains, turning them on, with the switch on the reverse and placing a small piece/s of wax in the bowl at the top, it gradually warms and melts the wax and fills the air with the chosen scent. There is no harsh chemicals and no flame, so much safer to be left on that a candle - but keep up away from children and animals in case of any accidents and as with any electrical item, I wouldn't advise you leave it unsupervised for a long period of time.

Absolutely beautiful burner, especially in a darker room, very cosy, they have a huge selection and new designs and scents come out with their new catalogues, twice yearly. I particularly like the warmer I borrowed.

So far I love Scentsy and would recommend them to most people, the price is average with most of the mid range candle brands and definitely worth it, the only down fall is that because it has a lower wattage bulb that it doesn't melt all brands of melts, including the popular paraffin wax ones. But with the huge variety of scents that Scentsy offers, you wouldn't need any other brands.