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Adopting a Kitten | All About Tilly

Adopting a Kitten | All About Tilly

This is a post I’ve been meaning to do for ages, and since the warmer months and “kitten season” are on their way I thought this would be good timing. We adopted this little bundle of fluff in mid-September from the Scottish SPCA when she was 9-weeks old. She was from a litter of 7(!) who came in when the mother’s owner couldn’t look after them. The SSPCA were great and allowed us to take her as soon as she had her first set of vaccinations. There was a charge of £70 but we were given vouchers for free neutering and microchipping which actually costs about the same anyway. Tilly is the is the first kitten I have had so I’m no expert, but I have learnt a lot.

Adopting a Kitten | All About Tilly

As a teeny kitten Tilly loved snuggling, hiding under the sofa and farting. Oh my God, little kittens are stinky! The first week she was home we had people keep her company while I was at work (lots of volunteers for that!) so she met lots of people and has no shyness around new folk. For the next four weeks I went home every lunchtime to feed her as she needed 4 small meals a day. She needed as much company, playtime and attention as possible so a kitten is a much bigger time commitment than even an adult can is.

Adopting a Kitten | All About Tilly

She really loved snuggling! I would say that cat beds are fairly pointless, they’ll never sleep where you want them to. My advice would be to just buy a couple of cosy jumpers, I got really good fluffy ones from Asda.

Around this time she also got into the very bad habit of climbing up people. Me, visitors, the vet – everyone was a climbing frame. All the scratches. This was really frustrating, not to mention painful. But honestly, if you have a climber, don’t worry, they do grow out of it. The vet did trim the very tip of her claws so that she could still climb but it wasn’t as painful for her victim.

Adopting a Kitten | All About Tilly

The Big Move. In December we moved to Gloucester – a 7 hour drive and a new house to cope with. Tilly was a total star. She mostly slept on the journey down because we left mid-afternoon. If you’re having to do an unavoidable journey with a kitten I’d say that medications etc aren’t necessary, just plan it for when they usually have a sleep. There will be moaning but it won’t be as bad as with a wide-awake cat. I was surprised (and proud) at how well Tilly coped with it all.

Adopting a Kitten | All About Tilly


A fun thing we learnt this year – kittens loose their teeth! Yep, like kids, they have baby teeth that fall out around the age of 4-6 months. We discovered this after an incident with a stuffed panda and some frantic Googling.

Tilly’s adoption story shows how important it is to neuter your pets. We definitely didn’t want her to end up like her mum with seven babies. Cats can get pregnant from four months so it’s recommended that you keep them in until they can get neuter at 5 months. As far as I understand, the operation is really straightforward for boys and doesn’t require stitches but it’s a more invasive for the ladies. Tilly snookered herself by immediately chewing at her stitches so had to wear the cone of shame for a week. She was obviously very uncomfortable for a couple of days but was back to her usual self by the end of the week.


But neutering is necessary if you want to let your kitty outside. Tilly now has access to the great outdoors although she’s restricted to our back garden for now as she’s too wee to jump the fence. After a very shaky (trembling with fear/cold) she now loves being able to investigate all the new smells, sights and sounds outside.

Adopting a Kitten | All About Tilly

She’s getting bigger and more grown up every day but she still loves a cuddle. She also hasn’t yet grown out of her suckling habit from babyhood and those Asda jumpers are basically her surrogate momma.

Adopting a Kitten | All About Tilly

So looking after a kitten is definitely hard work. It takes a lot of time, patience and money. I’ve had a lot of scratches – some quite bad, broken ornaments, chewed bags, my sofa has been wrecked. As well as food, there is insurance, vet bills, litter, toys, flea treatment and holiday boarding to be paid for. But she is worth it all. She’s part of our family now.

Lastly, I would urge anyone thinking about getting a kitten to adopt not shop. Sadly people sometimes let their pets breed indiscriminately and if they can’t sell the kittens on Gumtree, they end up in shelters like the SSPCA. Don’t give them your money.

If you have any questions about the adoption process or looking after a cat or kitten, please just ask below. As you can tell it something I’m always happy to talk about!


Blogging in Bristol | #BlogConf & #BlogClub

BlogConf and BlogClub

Since moving to Gloucestershire a few months ago my blogging has been a bit sporadic. Commuting everyday to Bristol and getting to know a new area knocked all the motivation out of me but thankfully a couple of events have put me back on track.

Last week, I spent the day at BlogConf. It was a full day packed with speakers, discussions and networking and was based at Racks in Clifton, a lovely bar with a great menu. Our speakers were:

  • Joe Stutter from Webpal did a great talk about improving your presence with SEO, design and social media. I took copious notes and am really fired up to give this a go.
  • Lottie from Oyster and Pearl and Lara, the editor of Mollies Makes were there to chat about freelancing and working with magazines. It turns out that many magazines, like Mollie Makes, are dead keen to work with bloggers and their advice was to be bold and make contact with people you want to work with.
  • Photographer Danny T gave us lots of tips about making the most of lighting and composition to create images that tell a story, and that the narrative and ‘the moment’ were king. The best advice was: practice, practice, practice and I’m certainly going to be sticking to this!
  • Next up was Gemma from HelloIt’sGemma and Mel from Trunki who led an open discussion about working with brands and it was great to hear the opinions of the rest of the bloggers there. Mel works extensively with bloggers reviewing Trunki products and she strongly recommended approaching brands you want to work with with a specific angle or story idea.
  • Olivia from Just Olivia TV was there to share her vlogging experience and spoke about having the confidence to put yourself out there on YouTube.  I also loved her advice to start with what you have – any camera, free editing software, a window for lighting – you can then figure out what you need from there.
  • Will, the PR Manager for Instagram Europe popped in to talk all things Insta. He stressed the importance of community in the Instagram world and told us about the worldwide IntsaMeets that will happen on the 21st and 22nd March. Will was also very happy to take lots of question and to feedback to the development team what us bloggers would like to see which was fab.
  • Lastly, Sophie from That Pale Girl closed the day with her blogging story. Her blog has gone through several incarnations so she had some good advice on finding your own style and reflecting it in your blog. And most importantly, blogging because you love it.

So yeah, a pretty good day! I felt it was a really worthwhile event to attend for me because, as well as meeting some lovely people, it has reignited my interest in and passion for blogging. It was a really well organised and successful day. We were lucky to be given a goody bag at the end, here’s a sneaky peek at it if you’re interested, I know I always am!

BlogConf and BlogClub

Then, during the week I went to BlogClub, run by Bonjour Blogger. BlogClub is open to anyone and is aimed at getting bloggers together to get to know each other and learn. Blogging is quite and isolated hobby/job (whichever way you view it) so I was really happy to find this in Bristol.

This month’s get together was hosted by True Digital who gave us a very detailed and extremely useful demonstration of how to get the most out of Google Analytics. I’m very much a beginner in this field so this was very helpful. And everyone at the event was extremely friendly. It’s great to meet so many people who ‘get’ the whole blogging thing and to meet some new folk down here in Bristol.

I can’t wait to make some changes to this blog and to keep improving it. I’m also super happy to have found such a vibrant blog scene here and I can’t wait to get more involved with more events, more connections and more friends.

Hello 2015

2015 diary

Well it certainly seems like Paperchase is doing a roaring trade with these Noto diaries, doesn’t it?!

Truthfully, I don’t have much to say about it being a new year but it seemed a little odd to let it pass without saying… something.

So – resolutions? My main resolution is to adopt a positive attitude after a pretty abysmal December and to start exploring and getting to know my new area. So if you have any suggestions for must-dos in the South West, I’m all ears.

That’s pretty much it. It’s one major goal rather than a series of little challenges, but maybe they’ll come later in the year. I do love a challenge.

Christmas Gift Guide | Etsy Favourites

For my last gift Guide of the season I thought I would share some of my favourite Etsy sellers. Etsy is an Ali’s Cave of independent sellers and designers but it can be a bit tricky to know where to start. My best advice is to search by shop location and select your hometown to discover loads of local talent. You’ll be surprised at what’s out there.

Today, my sellers are from all over the world, hope you discover someone new.

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Etsy Favourites

Top row, left to right: Runaway Fox Crow Skull Colour Splash Necklace (£27.60 each); Avonnie Studio You’re So Lucky to Have Me Mug (£14.44); DesignosaurYEAH ROARballs (£6.23); OHNO Rachio Totes Cotton Tote Bag (£10)

Hailing from Edinburgh are these replica crow skulls. They’re handpainted and really pretty and perfect for someone who loves a statement necklace. Can’t get mush more statement-like than wearable (faux) taxidermy. For that person who is always asking you to put the kettle on, remind them everyday of how awesome you are with this cheeky mug from Avonnie Studios. You can even choose if you want a left handed mug. All I want for Christmas is a T-Rex Santa on a sleigh being pulled by Triceratops… luckily Designosaur share my love of the tyrant lizard king and also want to see him Christmasified. They also do the best acrylic and wooden jewellery for all you dino fans. You doesn’t love a pun? Now that Scotland has brought in the 5p carrier bag charge, your giftee will thank you for a tote bag and this one is bound to raise a chuckle too.

Bottom row, left to right: HelloHarriet Bunny Nail Transfers (£8); Oh Gosh Cindy Mrs Doubtfire Watercolour Print (£9); Pelham Cases Deer iPhone 5C Case (£15.74); SaddleShoeSigns Vintage Inspired Marquee Sign (£98.44).

HelloHarriet is the cutest shop filled with hand drawn illustrations of kitties, bunnies and dogs. They do a range of goods including tattoos but my favourite is the dainty little nail transfers. I love everything in Oh Gosh Cindy’s store but I think the Mrs Doubtfire print is probably the funniest. Love that film! Pelham Cases do a wide range of on trend phone cases from pineapples, to tribal to geometric, they have something for everyone. Lastly, a major wishlist item for me. I want to fill my house with vintage style marquee lights. I’ll have an A, and an anchor, and an arrow, and a star…

I hope you’ve enjoyed my series of gift guides and maybe found a few ideas for people you plan to buy for, or for yourself. Please link me your favourite Etsy shops in the comments, always looking for more!


Christmas Gift Guide | Secret Santa/Stocking Fillers

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Secret Santa and Stocking Fillers

Top row, left to right: ASOS Dinosaur Ankle Socks (£3); Comic Photo Frame (£4.99); POPCULT Pencils Elf Pencil Set (£3.50); Jammy Dodger Biscuit Tin (£4).

All of these gifts are £5 or under as I find that’s often the budget for office Secret Santas, plus a £20 stocking filler, isn’t really a ‘filler’ is it?

Socks. The classic old person Christmas gift. Luckily ASOS has some fun designs that people might actually want. I’m partial to dinosaurs, but there’s also Christmassy ones, My Little Pony, Kangaroos… lots of choice! This little multi photo frame comes with speech bubble stickers and a pen so that you can caption your photographic adventures, comic book stylee. I’ve spoken before about my love for POPCULT before and they have a few festive options to choose from. My favourite is the Elf set, SON OF A NUTCRACKER! This little biscuit tin is a cute option for the office sweet tooth. Everyone loves a jammy dodger.

Bottom row, left to right: Paperchase Birds on Wire A5 Lined Notebook (£4.50); Lip Shit Lip Balm (£4.99 each); Glencairn Whisky Glass (£4.95); Asda Christmas Gift Dog Costume (£4).

A nice notebook is a safe option but usually warmly welcomed. Paperchase have some nice ones for less than £5. I think the packaging of this ‘lip shit’ makes it fairly unisex and everyone needs a decent lip balm to see them through the winter. It has some interesting flavour options too, coconut and basil, anyone? For whisky drinkers, you’re not going to get them a decent bevvy for a fiver but you can get the best drinking receptacle for their chosen nectar. The shape of this glass is specifically designed to make the most of whisky and will go down well with any whisky lovers. Finally, I am in no way suggesting you get anyone a dog for Christmas, but you can get them a doggy costume for their existing canine pal. I know a few people who would love to receive a present for their pet, so think outside the box if you’re stuck for what to get someone. If you do go for a custom, maybe get the pet a wee treat to nibble on while their owner is squealing over them.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my favourite shops on Etsy, see you then!

Christmas Gift Guide | For Kids

Christmas Gift Guide for Kids 2014

Top row, left to right: WWF Adelie Penguin Adoption Pack (from £3 per month); LEGO The Bat vs. Bane Tumbler Chase Set (£39.99), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ninja Combat Gear Leonardo and Michelangelo (£14.99 each); H&M Christmas Jumpers for girls and boys (£9.99).

The big Christmas story this year is Monty the Penguin from John Lewis. However, I really don’t agree with paying £95 for a stuffed toy when that amount of money will help real Adelies in the Antarctic with WWF for more than two and a half years and get you a stuffed toy. An adoption set is great gift for kids (and adults) of all ages as they’ll know that they’re helping their favourite critter in the wild as well as getting something for themselves. I’m sure this next gift with induce envy into dads across the country. LEGO do amazing sets for all ages with tons to chooses from. From Disney Princess to Star Wars. I love the Batman sets and particularly this one as it includes two vehicles to build, Batman,Bane and Commissioner Gordon. TMNT is back so let your little mutants re-enact their favourite fights with these neat little dress up kits. Who is your favourite Turtle? Mine is Raphael but his sais look slightly too aggressive for the sake of this blog… If you don’t want to go down the toy route, why not treat the wee ons to a festive jumper. H&M do really cute ones for ages 1 – 10 in a variety of designs at a reasonable price.

Bottom row, left to right: Disney Frozen Musical Magic Anna and Elsa Doll Set (£69.99); Zoomer Dino (£100); The Pointless Book by Alfie Deyes (£8.99); Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (£12.99); NERF N-Strike Elite Roughcut (£19.99).

Frozen is still riding high on a wave of popularity and there are tons of Frozen gifts to choose from. I chose this one as it has both sisters and Olaf but there are cheaper options out there. The Zoomer Dino is like a Tamigotchi on steroids. It learns commands as it’s owner spends time ‘bonding’ with it. It’s also available as a dog for kids that aren’t allowed real pets. The dinosaur is cooler though. Next up we have books from two of the most popular kids on YouTube, perfect for teens that seem to spend all their time online. Lastly, apologies in advance to any parents whose kids end up with this, but if you have siblings to buy for, get them a NERF gun each, they’ll love you for it.

Christmas Gift Guide | For Him

Christmas Gift Guide For Him 2014 2

Left to right: Fixie Bike Pizza Cutter (£14.99); BOSS Bottled (from £39.99); Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle (£9.99); Zatchels Damson Leather Satchel (from £140).

For the fitness fan who like to treat himself, this bike pizza cutter is a really fun and practical gift. Pictured above is the bumblebee colourway but it’s also available in watermelon – mint and pink. Aftershave is a go to gift for most people but it can be tricky to know what people like. I think BOSS Bottled is a fairly classic fragrance which is suitable for all ages as it combines fruit, spice and musk to create s masculine scent. If in doubt, go for what you want your man to smell like and this, I like. Cocktail books can often focus on the fruity, pink umbrella style drink, especially for their cover image so I love this literature inspired option. Feel like Gatsby as you sip your way through some unique recipes, read commentary about the books that inspired them and maybe get carried away with a drinking game or too. It’s also fun of punderful names – I’ll have an Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita. Man bag time! What could be a better option than a classic satchel handmade in the UK. This damson satchel from Zatchels offers a subtle hint of colour while still keeping things relaxed and masculine with it’s worn in look.

Christmas Gift Guide For Him 2014 1


Left to right: Men Rock Double Edged Razor Starter Pack (£43.50); Moleskine Star Wars 12 Months Weekly Notebook Planner (£15.99); Ted Baker Round Dial Watch (£215); Smartphone Projector (£19.99).

I know it’s trendy to be beardy right now, but if you want to smooth things out (and not follow the crowd) this Double Edged Razor kit is a fantastic gift. It’s old fashioned enough to please the hipsters and it works great for a close shave. Good stationery gifts shouldn’t be restricted for the ladies and Moleskine are my go to brand when I’m buying for a gentleman. I like the Star Wars series, but there are plenty of other options if that’s not to your guy’s taste. If it is, go for Boba Fett, everyone loves Boba Fett. For a luxury item, you can’t go far wrong with a quality watch. If you’re not quite stretching to Tag Heuer prices, I really like this one from Ted Baker. The croc effect leather and stainless steel combo is timeless (see what I did there?!) and will suit a wide range of personal styles. Lastly, we’re ending on a gadget. The smartphone projector is a bit of fun, I’m sure the picture quality is atrocious but at least you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos without the boring task of holding your phone up. Seriously though, this is a neat gift for gadget lovers and I’m sure it’ll be enjoyed.

Tomorrow we’re shopping for the kids. I’ve got a wide range of ages covered, and since I’m not Tesco, I’ll leave it up to you whether the superhero stuff is for your little lady or little laddie. See you then, Santas!