Devonshire Woman

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Tips for Moving Home with Cats

Moving home can be a stressful experience, and this can be even more so the case when you have a pet to worry about as well. If you are moving home with cats, it is important to consider them when planning the move. After all, not only do you want everything to go as smoothly as possible but also you don’t want your cats to feel unsettled or nervous. This can easily happen, as their norm is disturbed. But, there is no need to fret, simply follow the tips provided below:

Dealing with removals

No matter whether you are hiring a removal van, or you are taking advantage of a mobile storage solution like the one provided by Pink Self Storage Bridgend, you will need to ensure that your cats do not get in the way during the packing and removal process. The best thing to do is keep your cats in one room, and let this be the last room that the removal men deal with. Make sure the room is as comfortable as possible for your pets; provide them with a place to relax and ensure their toys are in the room too. You should also keep their litter tray, water bowl, and food bowl in there.

The journey to your new home

It is important to ensure that your cat is comfortable during the journey to your new property. You should never transport your cat in the boot of your car or in the removal van. If the journey is a long one, it is a good idea to stop and give your chance to use a cat tray or drink some water. You will find that most cats will not be interested, but it is better to stop just encase. Never leave your cat in a hot car if you stop for a break either.

Introduce your cat to your new home slowly

You need to let your cats adjust to their new home at their own pace. Cats can feel nervous when they are in a new environment; so let them figure things out themselves. Place them in one room, with a few of their toys and comforts, and leave the door open so that they can explore at their own will.

Letting your cat outside

You also need to be careful regarding when you let your cat outside. It is wise to keep them inside of the property for the first couple of weeks, as this will enable them to get used to it. It is also important to ensure your cat has some form of identification. The best option is to get your cat microchipped. If he or she already is, make sure the address is updated. The other option is to get a collar that contacts your address and contact number.

When moving home with your cat, it is important that you consider it when planning how the moving process is going to go. Follow the tips above, and everything should go just fine.


Raising The Roof Or Craving Home Comforts?

Homes with high ceiling are impressive. During a house hunt, a feature like this is often a major factor in buying. After all, those high ceilings create the spacious vibe we all look out for in a potential home.

Flickr Image

But within a few months, the glamour wears off. It doesn’t take long to realise that there’s a reason we all associate small cottages with comfort. High ceilings aren’t cosy! Sitting down in a cavernous, cold space in the evenings doesn’t have the same appeal. It may be okay during the summer months, but as soon as the weather changes, those high ceilings could become a problem. To ensure that doesn’t happen, we’ve got some tips to help you get back that cosy home vibe.

Consider Ceiling Panels

It’s worth turning to country cottages as your inspiration throughout this project. They’re about as cosy as it gets. Think about the ceilings in such homes. As well as being an awful lot lower, what do they have? You guessed it. Country homes often have beams and panels. These add the ever elusive ‘character’.

Adding a beam to a modern home like yours might not look quite the same. But, you can install ceiling panels. An option like this has a few benefits. As you’re placing them on top of the ceiling, they will quite literally bring it down a few inches. But, they also provide that country cottage feel. As such, you’re sure to feel cosier. Even better, ceiling panels can be used in any room of your home. Why not keep the cottage theme going by incorporating them in all your major rooms?

Reduce The Echo

The echo is the part many homeowners hate most about their high ceilings. Every time you talk, or move around, you rooms echo back at you. It’s hardly comforting. But, there are things you can do to reduce it. For one, make sure to avoid wooden floors. These increase the echo in any home, so they certainly won’t solve your issue. Instead, opt for a carpet which will stunt the echo in a major way.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the more furniture you have, the less this problem will affect you. Everyone knows that empty rooms echo more. So, making sure your rooms are full of chunky pieces is sure to go some way towards keeping things down. Plus, these will help add to the general feeling of comfort, which has got to be good!

Home comforts

Speaking of increasing that feeling of comfort; home comforts will go a long way here. Consider this a last resort. You’ve got the right stuff on your ceiling and the right floor. Now, all you can do is bridge the gap. Simple things, like rugs on the floor, will make a difference here. They’ll add a touch of warmth to an otherwise cold room. And, pictures on the walls will also work wonders. If you’re not convinced, try it out. You won’t believe the difference!

Top Tips & Websites To Get Free Samples In The Mail

Just imagine opening up your mailbox every single day and find something inside that you didn’t have to pay for. Getting free samples by mail is something that happens regularly and not just a dream. Advertisers are waiting for you to register so that you may receive samples of products they sell along with a coupon.

You can receive samples ranging from crackers to cereal to razors and you can do it without actually having to spend a lot of time. All you need is a good strategy as well the knowledge of free sample websites that offer the best collection of free samples.

How to Get Started

If you have decided that receiving free coupons straight to your email or free stuff straight to your mailbox is something you would like to give a try, you will require 2 specific tools to ensure that this endeavor is as painless as possible.

Get a Separate Email Address

If you sign up for 4-5 different offers of free samples you will not want to receive email offers from 4-5 separate companies to your regular inbox regularly. A better approach would be to sign up for a free email address.

You can do this using the numerous different services available. Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook are the easiest, largest, and owned by Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft respectively.

If you have all the free sample emails going to one place allows you to easily surf them and keep your regular email address for personal correspondence.

Get a Form Filler

If you are really serious about this undertaking, you will require a good form filler. A form filler refers to a program that runs on your computer that fills in form for you as opposed to having to type in the same information repeatedly.

In the past, web browsers did not have form filling capabilities built into them. However, things have changed and just about any browser has a built on form filler. Having said that, it is still recommended that you get a separate program. Most browsers such as Chrome have an auto filling setting that can help make your work much easier.

The Top 3 Free Sample Websites for 2017

The places that can send you free samples in the mail are numerous. To get you started, here are some of the top options.

1. P&G (Supersavvyme)

Proctor and Gamble is a company that make many different products and regularly gives out free samples for the people that sign up for Everyday Rewards from P&G. It is a great option for consistent P&G coupons, which are great for getting amazing deals on diapers, however, the company still has an entire section dedicated solely to free samples and usually send them to you on a random basis.

2. WOW FreeStuff

If you are looking for a resource that specializes in finding different free offers, then the WOW FreeStuff blog is what you need. The offers might not always be free samples, but they do come up regularly and have a good navigation to help you discover free sample signups.

3. FabFreeSamples

FabFreeSamples is another blog that pulls free samples from different websites. It has a consistent list of new freebies.

If you use the form filler along with the sites listed here, you will get a steady stream of free samples in the mail. It is something quite awesome and all the free samples that come with them can make your regular shopping better too.

Is House Hunting Without The Stress Possible? Yes, Yes It Is!

This was me on Saturday after a series of errors (some on my part) led to me losing BOTH hard drives in my “redundant” back up. 

Yes, you read that right. Some 44,000 photos gone in the matter of minutes. 

I have some secondary backups of certain things but that’s less than 20%. I’m not too concerned with any of the stuff that was uploaded to flickr, most of that stuff is replaceable over time.

Its the loss of all the wedding, social, family and party photos that is most troubling. 

Let this be a warning everyone, back up frequently and to more than once place.

Image From Flickr

Are you looking for a new home? More importantly, does the process make you want to scream into your pillow?! There is no doubt that searching for a house is a stressful experience. After all, it is down to you to get everything right and you are not an estate agent. Even the thought of it is enough to send shivers down my spine! Thankfully, no one has to put up with the pressure any longer. Yep, the rumours are true – there are ways to relieve the stress. But, before you start jumping for joy and thanking the Gods, you might want to know what they are. That way, they might be more effective!

Hire A Great Agent

‘Duh! Of course I know I have to hire an estate agent. I’m not an idiot!’ That is what most people think when they see a tip that is seemingly obvious. However, the appropriate word here is ‘great.’ Hiring any old realtor isn’t going to make the process any less stressful. The reason is simple: they only have their interests at heart. As a result, they won’t propose properties that fit the criteria, and they will try to guide you down the wrong path. The best agents care about finding you a great home. To do that, they grease their contacts, provide invaluable advice, and are available 24/7.

Know What You Want

However, even an excellent agent can’t read minds. For that, you need a psychic, and they don’t exist! As a result, it is vital that you tell the expert what you want from a property. Then, they can find the most desirable ones and set up a viewing. If you don’t, most of your time will be spent looking at homes that aren’t suitable. When this happens, people start to feel that they will be homeless and the stress starts to build.

Don’t Sell Up Just Yet

One of the best tips when buying a home is to hold off selling your current home. Now, this is a complicated situation because you more than likely need to sell before you can buy. But, it is possible to sell the house you live in now before you have a replacement. All this does is leave you in limbo, which of course is very stressful. Unless you have a place to go while you search, you need a home. Otherwise, it may tempt you to buy something that isn’t right for you and the family.

Get Pre-Approved For A Loan

Because it is one of the biggest transactions in your life, a mortgage is usually necessary. However, banks don’t always follow through when you need them the most. So, it is possible to find a place only to have your application rejected. There is no way to secure one in advance, but you can get pre-approved. This means as long as there are zero changes, the lender should approve the loan.

Of course, having this in your back pocket relieves a lot of anxiety.

How To Maintain A Gorgeous Garden


If you own a garden, you may know how bad they can end up looking if you don’t regularly maintain them, no matter how small it may be.

– Here’s how you can look after your garden easily.

Remove stubborn weeds

Weeds can be an absolute nightmare to deal with because no matter how long you spend pulling them out (from the root of course!) – give it a week and they will all be back striving in your garden, stronger than ever. Unfortunately, they are just one of them things you will have to learn to deal with and keep on top of. Although, you can buy weed killers or use boiling water to help with the process.


Proper equipment

If a chef used knock-off knives and pans to cook with, he wouldn’t be getting the best out of his dishes – the same goes for gardening. Invest in some top quality spades, rakes, mowers and wheelbarrows as this will make things a lot easier to work with, plus they’ll last a lot longer than any cheap version.

Green grass

Keeping your grass green is a lot more complicated than you may think. It has to have the right amount of water and sun; you have to keep on top of weeds, feed it and mow it regularly. If the effort seems too much for you then consider artificial grass. People are getting more and more interested with this option nowadays. – The most popular questions about artificial grass tend to be things like “Is it safe for children and pets?” And the answer is yes.

Healthy soil

If your plants don’t have healthy soil around them, they just won’t grow and thrive as you would have liked, so use a spade to turn the soil once every month (or more if you think it needs it.) This is to keep everything loose and light as a pose to being hard and crumbly. Clay does this, so you will want to give it a little extra attention by mixing in some organic compost to keep it soft.

Water your plants

Most plants are made up of over 90% water, so they will not be able to survive without it. Like humans, they need to stay hydrated otherwise they will die, the only difference is their whole existence relies on you. You should water plants when you wake up in the morning because the air tends to be cooler, meaning less water is lost through evaporation than if it were hot and sunny outside.


Give it room

When planting something in your garden, it is essential that you leave it enough space to grow. It may look small now, but the roots will need to spread out, and the plant itself needs enough space to be able to take in the sunlight, collect its moisture, and get nutrients from the soil. If you plant things too close together, it will have to compete with its neighbours to get all of the good stuff.

Now you know how to keep your garden healthy, put these things in action and enjoy the results.

The Things You Absolutely Have to Do on a Family Day Trip to London

Ah, the day trip to London, so much fun, so much stress, especially for a mum! London is an amazing place with some great things for the family to do together, with some sights you simply have to see! Follow these tips for what to see in London on a day trip, and how to survive it!:

1) Book your train well in advance!

The best tip you can hope to get for a trip to London is to book your trains well in advance. Into London, trains can be costly! It is also worth looking at deals online and finding out the fastest train that can get you there. You will want to be there as quickly as possible, especially if you are traveling with kids! If you book early, you could get a deal for the quickest train; some even come with cheaper tickets to attractions once you’re there.

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2) Pack food

Again, London is a costly place and packing food, either for the journey, or a little picnic can be a great money saving idea! Kids need a lot of food, even if it’s just as a distraction on the train!

If you have a picnic in London, a great place to go is to the Marble Arch greens, right at the top of Oxford Street. If you aren’t brave enough to tackle Oxford Street with kids (you would be mad!), this is an excellent way to kind of get to see it, to show them but without having to walk down that manic, overpacked street. Marble arch is lovely to look at as well, if it’s a sunny day, there are lots of benches to sit on and loads of grass space as well.

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3) Suss out the tube

No one wants to be that tourist in London with the massive maps, but it is essential to know where you are going on the tubes. It is very easy to get lost and what a waste of a day that would be! If you don’t want to get a massive map out- which no one would blame you for, there are some amazing apps out there to help you navigate London; they do a much better job than a map anyway, all the hard work is done for you!

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4) Visit a lovely cafe

An excellent way to get the feel of a place is to visit it’s most historic and iconic parts, a perfect thing to do would be to go to a nice part of London and have a walk around. Somewhere like Notting Hill is famous worldwide and has a lovely cafe that you could visit after wandering around the market. The Nottingdale Cafe has also become the world famous for the excellent, family friendly food as well as the design of the place. It was made by a modern feeling interior designer and architect. Or you could go to a nice cafe in Soho; the riding horse cafe does exceptional look desserts that would thrill the children as well as a few fancy cocktails for the parents!

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5) Know the attractions and book ahead

If you want to go somewhere super famous like the London Eye or Madame Tussauds, also book these ahead of time because it is often booked well ahead of time! You will also get a family deal if you book in advance. Try to keep it a nice relaxed experience and have the best time!

Turn Your British Back Garden Into A Mediterranean Paradise

The British climate is known for anything but it’s warmth. Everybody’s always complaining about how cold and wet it is, including your plants. The plants that you can grow in the garden have to pretty robust to withstand the harsh climates so you’re fairly limited in what you can keep alive. The more exotic plants that require more heat seem pretty far out of reach but it is still possible to grow them if you know how. Rising temperatures caused by global warming are making it easier than ever to grow more interesting plants at home.

There are loads of great Mediterranean plants that you can add to your diet to encourage a much healthier lifestyle so beefing up your garden with some of these great plants will benefit you in more ways than one. You can make your garden the envy of your neighbours as well as making your culinary life more interesting. If you’re looking to spice things up in the garden a bit, here are some top tips on growing warm weather plants in the cold British climate.


Fresh tomatoes are something that people have been growing in Britain for ages but they are hard to keep alive if you don’t know how. Planting them in the garden outside is a bad move unless you’ve got an unusually hot summer on your hands. They won’t last long outside on their own. You need to put them inside a greenhouse to keep conditions warm enough to grow them. Don’t worry if you haven’t got much space, you can get 4ft wide greenhouses that will fit in a fairly small garden. You also need to be very careful about pests because they absolutely love tomatoes. You can use a tomato cage to help them grow higher and keep them away from the bulk of the insects but you’ll still get a few on there. Planting herbs around it can deter any pests from coming near them; basil and oregano are the best ones out there because insects hate the smell of them. Plant them in a perimeter around your tomato plants and they should be safe until they’ve grown you lots of juicy tomatoes.

Chili Plants

Chili plants are another one that will have to be grown inside or in a greenhouse because they can’t handle the cold. In the house s probably your best bet because you don’t want them to be in direct sunlight all of the time, especially when they are smaller. Once you’ve seeded them and they’ve grown to around an inch or so, put them into a larger pot. They’ll need a stick to keep them upright once they get a bit taller. A great tip for maintaining the heat they need is to put four sticks around the edges of the pot and then wrap cling film around the plant. It will recreate the same effect that you get with a greenhouse and it’s also a great way to keep them alive over the winter.

Olive Trees

Olives have traditionally been grown in hot, dry climates, but now things are heating up, you can get them going over here as well. Growing an Olive tree from seed is going to be a struggle so it’s best to get one from a garden centre somewhere. They will have greenhouses that have the right conditions to germinate the seeds and it’s a pain to try to recreate this yourself. Once it’s grown a bit, you can buy one and you should be able to keep it alive if you’re careful with it. It’s better to put it into a pot than to plant it straight into a bed because you’ll need to move it around when the winter months come. Put it in the sun and give it some liquid plant food around once a month. When winter comes, it might be worth moving it inside and reducing the amount that you water it.


When people think about growing grapes, they usually picture a vineyard in an exotic climate, not a back garden in soggy Britain, but you can successfully grow grapes over here if you’ve got the right equipment. You’ll need to plant the vines in very deep soil because the roots spread very far. Choose a spot that gets plenty of sun and is on a south facing wall. The best way to grow grapes is vertically up the wall so put some supports and attach them to the vine. Grapes

are incredibly hungry plants so top up the fertiliser every month. If you want to grow dessert grapes then it’s best to put them into a greenhouse otherwise they won’t ripen properly and they’ll taste too sharp when you harvest them.

Palm Trees

Palm Trees are another plant that you don’t expect to see anywhere outside of a sunny beach but you can fill your garden with them too. Windmill Palms are the best variety for growing in Britain. They usually grow to around seven or eight metres but some have been known to get as tall as twenty metres. If you want to plant them from a seedling, make sure that you’re patient with them. They take a lot longer than most other plants to get going so don’t worry if you aren’t seeing much activity in the first month or so. Plant it somewhere that is sheltered from the wind because the leaves can get easily damaged and it will end up looking a bit scruffy.


Bamboo is a great plant for giving your garden a very exotic feel. It grows incredibly quickly so if you’re the impatient type then it’s perfect for you. It’s an incredibly robust plant and fairly low maintenance, so once it’s in, it won’t be going anywhere. The best varieties to go for are the ones that grow in clumps rather than the spreading types because they will take hold a lot easier. They’ll need plenty of trimming otherwise they can quickly get out of control.