Wednesday, 18 November 2015

GUIDE: Gift Ideas for a Teen Girl

Yesterday was my baby sister's birthday. Well I say baby, she's actually 19 years of age, but as I can remember her as a two year old I still see her as the baby. As she comes into her final year of being a teenager, I thought I'd share some inspiration with you for teenage girl gifts all from Primark, because to be completely honest I was slightly clueless to begin with.

I mean what do teenagers these days actually like? When I was a teen I was into glitter, blue mascara and crimping my hair. But kids are growing up so much faster now, and I've seen more 17 year olds than I would like to say who have a better make-up stash than I do, including MAC, which both bewilders and confuses in equal measure!

So on to my gift guide...

Teenage Girl Gift Guide from Primark

Teenage Girl Gift Guide from Primark

Everything is from Primark and seen on their website, so you'll need to have a scout around in your local store! Good luck!

1. Hogwarts Pyjamas
Perfect for the Harry Potter fan, and cosy for winter. This is a must for my sister.
2. Two pack of snood scarves
For the slightly warmer winter days, functional and pretty
3. "You look amazing" sign
Because every girl needs a reminder
4. Minnie Mouse mittens
All teen girls love Disney right?
5. Ariel t-shirt
And we all want mermaid hair!
6. Butterfly lights
Perfect for every girls bedroom, and won't break the bank
7. Cat and Donut socks
What's not to love, and girl needs socks right?
8. Bobble hat
This is mostly here because I really love this hat and really need it in my life, hint hint! 
9. Nail files
A girls best friend. And a staple for her beauty draw. Plus super cute!

What do you recommend for a teen girls birthday? Or even dare I say it, Christmas?

Sunday, 15 November 2015

ADVICE: Things you should know when buying a cat or kitten

A beginners guide to cats and kittens

I love cats.... If you didn't know! 
Ok that was a little bit of an understatement to be honest.
You've likely seen my little (giant) fur babies here many, many times, and you either love it, or you hate it - hopefully the former.
If you haven't met my fur babies before - here's a little introduction.

Archimedes - he's the jet black, Bengal-cross. He's nearly four and is a mummas-boy completely. He is faster than sound (mild exaggeration) and the dominant cat of the house. He can usually be found on our bed, in the conservatory or on my pillow.
Dante - he's the gigantic fluff ball who is two. He's a Persian-Bengal - Bengal face, Persian fur. He's is daddy's little menace. He can usually be found at the top of the stairs, on the bathroom matt or inside a draw, usually with Dann's socks.

I thought I'd share with you some of the things to keep in mind if you want your own kitten or cat, because they aren't always advertised, but kind of come in the feline bundle.

Those little needles are the absolute worst. And they need blunting, and your cat will know this. And the absolute best place to do that is on your sofa! It doesn’t really matter that you put the scratching post right next to the sofa, and it’s a really tall one with jingly mice, the sofa is WAY better. Accept it. That nice sofa is probably going to be shredded - thank you Archimedes. 

Fur, fur, fur
The hallmark of the cat owner. You can ID a cat owner, and the type of cat from the appearance of said owner and the level of fur coverage they have on their clothes. Invest in lint rollers if you wish to de-fur, but be warned this should only be done just before you leave as it has an innate ability to cling to you within 30 seconds.
This leads to HAIRBALLS… for those wishing to own a fluffy kitty, be warned, they DO NOT look like the balls of fluff vomited up in cartoons. And cat sick smells FYI, and stains! Invest in laminate flooring… better to clean and no fur can stick to it like it does to carpets. This is a particular problem for Dante who has long hair and barely chews his food. Malt extract really helps enable the hair to go through his system and not get stuck, but always seek advice from a vet about fur and long-haired cats.

Night time races and ninjas
Those eerie hours between 12am and 4am are the cat witching hour. You’ve seen your cat or kitten nap ALL day. Well that is all in preparation for the sprinting around your home, and leaping from high places at 2am. Double the destruction with two or more cats. Never leave anything up high that can fall. On a side note, black cats are particularly good at hide and seek, especially at night. You think you’re safe popping to the loo in the middle of the night…. You’re not. Take a torch, or you will be feeling the carpet quicker than you would like when you trip over the black ninja that hid in the corner awaiting his prey – you!

Cuddles.. at your peril
I know you want to smush you face in your kitties fur and squish him cos you love him so much.... well he will more than likely hate it. Unless you're really lucky (we have one of each) and he loves cuddles, most cats will squirm and claw their way out of your grasp (see point one). Our two agree to cuddles on their terms, and their terms only. Usually when you need to pee or grab the remote. Dante has also developed a new habit of curling up on our backs as both Dann and I sleep on our fronts fairly regularly. He's also heavy so it is virtually impossible to move.

Cat's love to sleep. You'll find this out very quickly. In fact cats sleep for about 2/3 of their lives. And not always in the places you might expect. We usually find our two either asleep on our bed together, or inside drawers, specifically sock drawers. And we wonder why our clothes are covered in fur. 

Boxes vs. Toys
Over the years we've spent a fortune on toys for our cats, including climbing frames and various scratching posts (the sofa is better apparently). We've learnt the favourites for ours. Boxes are always, and I mean always a hit, no matter the size. Did you see Dante in my Degustabox? He is also a huge fan of hair ties, and more recently rubber charity wristbands. We now collect them and he plays fetch. Much safer than the hair ties he had a habit of eating.
Other favourites include anything with feathers, and of course the trusty laser pen!

A beginners guide to cats and kittens

A beginners guide to cats and kittens

A beginners guide to cats and kittens
But you've got to love them. For all their odd little quirks it makes them who they are. And I honestly wouldn't have them any other way.

You can read more about our cats here, here and here

What's your favourite thing about your cat?

Friday, 13 November 2015

FOOD: Inside the October Degustabox

It's foodie heaven in today's blog post. I was recently sent my second box from Degustabox* (see the first one here) and this months box was even better than last months.
Degustabox specialise in bringing new and interesting foods and drinks straight to the food lovers door every month. Last month was all about the snacks and drinks. This month it's a little more food based, and even includes some bits essential for all your meals.

Take the Passata for instance - I'll be using mine for this meatball recipe. The chopped tomatoes are ideal for a warming chilli in the slow cooker. And that cocoa powder is perfect for some chocolate brownie baking.

On top of this we have the usually unique and different snacks and drinks. I know my husband adores the Liberation nuts, and the freeze-dried apricots are going on the Gluten-Free Apricot porridge - like a match made in breakfast heaven.

What's inside?
Food Thoughts Organic Cocoa for Baking
Lorina French Lemonade - coconut and lime flavour
The Snack Organisation - Apricots
The Snack Organisation - Lightly Salted Rice Crackers
9BAR Orginal Carob Bars
Cirio - La Classica Passata and Chopped Tomatoes
Liberation Foods  - Peanuts and Cashews
Provena Gluten Free Porridge - Apricot
Kabuto Noodle Pot - Chicken Raman
Chip Strips - Salt n Vinegar & Sour Cream and Chive

Plus a President voucher for Unsalted Butter.

I hope you enjoy exploring inside as much as Dante does!

Get your own Degustabox with this special money off code, to get £6 off your box - BLDEG15.

Follow Degustabox on Facebook and Twitter.

*PR Sample
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