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Life changing magic

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The Life Changing Magic

DIY Puppy Crate Cover


As the house needs quite a bit of work still and we can't afford to tackle it all at once, at the moment we're trying to make the rooms we're having to live with as they are look nice. Which means working with what we have. And unfortunately in some rooms there are things we need to keep in them that maybe aren't the most attractive objects to have around and with the the make do rooms - it's a challenge to make things look nice!

One of these is the dog crate*. It sits in the corner of the dining room and acts as Flash's safe spot when he's feeling like he needs a bit of space from everything, but crates aren't very nice to look at are they, so I thought I'd try and make it a little prettier. 

I had a look on Pinterest at ways to make crates less cumbersome and ugly and there are LOADS of ideas, but the one thing that came up over and over again were crate covers. Now these sell for quite a lot of money - and once you add shipping to the UK - far more than I wanted to pay, so I set about figuring out a way to make one. And luckily for me, it was really quite easy.


Now, this might not be the most technical diy post, but hopefully you can follow it. Just one note I'll add - our crate has two doors to it and even though we rarely use one of them, I still wanted to make a cover that would allow for them both to be opened so the sides on our crate cover aren't fixed together, but you could easily adapt yours so that the sides were permanently fixed together. 

So, to if you want to make your own puppy crate cover like this one, here's how; 

What you'll need;
  • A tape measure, 
  • Sewing machine or some wonderweb and an iron (you can probably do this with minimal sewing)
  • Enough fabric to cover your crate - I used spotty fabric from Clarke and Clarke. 
  • Some ribbons for ties. 
3rd? Only 3rd? My little fur face is cuter than 3rd place right! 
What you'll need to do;

First off you'll need to measure the crate. You'll need to measure side 1, 2 and 3 as in the image below. Add on a couple of centimetres each side to them all to account for your hems. 
My crate is side 1 = 58cm, side 2 = 76cm, side 3 = 52cm. 
Once you've measured the crate you'll need to measure out your fabric ready to cut it. Now this could be the tough bit to explain as I didn't take photo's but, you'll need to measure out 2 big pieces of your fabric. 
  • The first piece will be measurement #3 wide, and the length of #1 (x2) and 2 added together - mine was 52cm wide and 192cm long (58 + 58 + 76), plus a couple of cm's each side.  
  • The second piece will be measurement 2 wide and 1 (x2) and 3 long - mine was 76cm wide and 168cm long (58 + 58 + 52) again plus a couple of cm each side. 
Once you've measured your fabric you'll be left with 2 long pieces of fabric. Your next job will be to tidy up the edges. I double folded mine and sewed a hem all around the edge of the fabric. But if you don't have a sewing machine then bust out the wonderweb and iron a hem on it

Once all your edges are sorted it's time to piece it together. Lay your longer piece across the crate so that it touches the floor and covers the entire of the top and sides it is made for. Next put your other, wider, piece of fabric over the top of it and do the same. 

Once I was happy that all the sides were covered I tacked a pin in each corner of the overlapping piece on the top of the crate to hold them together. I sewed little X's where each of these pins sat so that the two pieces were joined together. I did this on the sewing machine but it could easily be done by hand as it's so little sewing. 


Next I sewed on small ties to the bottom of all the edges that would hang down over the crate sides. This is so I can tie the sides down and make sure they don't shift about. I also sewed some of the same ribbon at the top where the main door is to keep it tidy when that side is rolled up - again, if you don't have a sewing machine, this could be done by hand.

Then all that was left to do was pop it over the crate, tie the ties on and hope Flash liked it. Which I think he does. He can often be found in there with a chew or just having a nap so I think we're onto a winner. It has made it look prettier for me, and cosier for him - next up I think I might try and make him a comfier cushion that fills the entire space, maybe a  memory foam mattress with a cover to match......not that he's spoilt or anything!


So, I hope this has made sense. If you have any questions, please just ask!

*before people start telling me we shouldn't have Flash in a crate - he's had it since we was a puppy, we bought it as a training aid and it is his safe place. The door is always open and he can come and go as he wants. I couldn't shut him in it if I wanted to, as his face looks too heartbroken when I've tried if he's been naughty in the past! 
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About Instagram.......


It's no secret that I love Instagram. I mean, I really, really love it. It's the perfect form of social media - I can be super nosy into my friends lives and see updates from awesome people with beautiful lives from across the world without all the crap that you get on Facebook and it's prettier to look at than Twitter! 

But there are things that I struggle with my own Instagram. I struggle with 'curating it'. I am torn between creating a space that has a theme and just posting photos of things that I love. Most of the curated Instagram feeds that I find are 'popular' are all white, clean and ethereal, they have a theme to them. But I'll be honest, my life isn't all white - it's filled with colour and mess so it'd be a lie if I started posting a world like that - but it looks kind of messy when I compare it to the feeds of others people that I love.

A few months ago I joined in with Whitney's Instagram class about creating a beautiful & branded account- it was fun and I really did find it useful and I've started putting a lot of the points it raised into practice - I am thinking about and editing my pictures so much more and I can really see an improvement in them, but I am still struggling with this curation argument. Do I want my Instagram to be a brand or a real reflection of me?




So, I want to know your thoughts? Do you make a concious effort with your Instgram to only post things that 'fit your brand'? Do you only follow 'branded' or themed Instagrams? Does it put you of when people random photos that aren't 'on brand'? And if you curate your feed - how do you find the time to do it? Do you stock pile images? Do you use certain hashtags? And, really, what's with the 'follow but if I don't get a follow back in a week I'll unfollow' thing? It's just annoying!

I know a lot of questions but I want to get some of your thoughts. Instagram is a side of social media that I love and it'd be a lie if I said I didn't want to grow it, but I've been stuck with the same follower numbers for such a long time and I thought what better way to find out what to do than ask other users. I have an Iconosquare account (thank goodness for them returning back to the free account - $200 a month hahahaha) so I know when the best times for me to post are and I know who my most engaged followers are and I know who my new followers and unfollowers are but there is still so much to learn!

Tell me your Instasecrets! 
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Currently......

I thought it might be fun to start a little 'currently' post every month. Just a little snap shot of the month to remember what's going on. 

+ WATCHING
I saw loads of adverts for a show called 'Younger' whilst on holiday and so I've started watching it through Hola. It's great and gives me hope that telling people I'm younger than I am isn't the worst thing ever! I'd love to say I was watching GOT but Jim's in India and I've promised him I'd wait! Oh, and Community. Who forgot to tell me about that gem?

+ READING
'The Rosie Effect' is this month's book club book so I've been reading that - but I also had to read 'The Rosie Project' first. They were easy books to read but I'm not sure how much I enjoyed them! Some other books I've enjoyed over the last few weeks have been The Mermaid Sisters, and Attachments - but I just love everything Rainbow Rowell writes! 
I'm also reading Plate to Pixel for an upcoming course I am doing - it's beyond interesting but isn't the easiest read! Next up is The Girl on the Train!

+ LOVING
Taking Flash for swimming lessons. He's had a couple of them so far and is a swimming champ. He's even doing a sponsored swim next month to raise money for local dog charities......You can see him in action here;
A video posted by Grandmaster Flash (@_flashpuppy) on
I know taking a dog for swimming lessons might seem crazy but I need him to be confident in the water for when we're on the boat! And, it tires him out which is a rare occurrence. 

+ LISTENING
With the mood I've been in of late it's been all Ryan Adams and Butch Walker! I'd apologise but it's been great listening!

+ DOING
Cleaning and tiding everything. I find it so much easier to get stuff done whilst Jim's away! Somehow the mess is WAY WAY less when he's away! I've also been out in the garden. I've been trying to prepare the space for the fact we're getting a new fence and having the tree cut back - so we need some new grass and a crap load of dee-weeding to happen! Once all that is done the space will finally be Flash-proof and we can actually plant some stuff! 

+ LEARNING
About laying grass. And food Photography props. And how to move to Canada with a dog. 

+ MOVING
I've enrolled in some gym classes. I'm now signed up to do yoga classes and a body balance class, I'm swimming as much as I can, and I'm doing the 30 day shred when I can! 

+ MY FAVES
My new Kitchen Aid blender. It came as a surprise for me from Jim. And it's amazing. 
What's app chats with friends. They make barely any sense but who needs sense? 
Pink nails - even if it's not sunny outside my nails can pretend it is! 
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Lust List - May Must Haves

With the return of some sunny weather, admittedly last month, and the promise of some more at some point this summer I've started pinning none snow related things with a vengeance. I don't have the bank balance to buy all the things I've been pinning but it's always fun to dream of stuff I really don't need, but WANT this month!   

1. I recently got introduced to these little Lumie LED lights - perfect for on the go photographing - food bloggers love them and watching the video I can see why! 2. It's summer. I need St Germain in my prosecco/gin/juice! 3. I came across these awesome Bezels and Bytes wrist bands to hide my fitbit in! I don't wear much gold but I'd make the swap for this double wrap number! 4. Oh my god. Liberty Topsiders. Just YES! (And I have become a horrible cliché. But meh. For shoes this pretty I'm not bothered!) 5. New hair - I'm so in need of a hair revamp and I love this type of colour! I believe, if I'm going to be all up to date with stuff, it's called balayage but whatever it is - I like it. Not as harsh as straight up stripy highlights could be on me, but a colour for summer and something to hide those dreaded greys! See you at the salon!

What have you got your eye on this month?
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Day In The Life - #BEDM Edition!

This week hasn't been conducive to #BEDM. In fact it's been a shit of a week home and work wise and I figured it was better to not publish anything rather than publish rubbish. So I stayed quiet and figured I'd come back to it when I could. 
Today is that day because all I really need to do is remember to take some photos and update this post as I go!

I woke up next to this face. Jim is in India for the next few weeks and this little fur face has taken to sleeping on his side of the bed in the most adorable positions - he just loves sleeping like a person! 

The walk to work. Yup, I am mixing blue, brown and black today - oh and a bit of red too! 

Chatting menus at work today and looking at these bad boys that I picked up on holiday! I've also filled the day by searching for a food photographer for an upcoming menu launch, added content to some websites and planned in an 'appie hour'. No free food though. What's the point of working in restaurants if there is no free food? 

I picked Flash up from doggy daycare. He basically shot me evils the whole way home because it was raining and this dog does not do rain! 
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BEDM - Guilty Pleasures


Oh, you want to know my guilty pleasures......well, for one I'd tell you to take a look at my Netflix viewing history. Actually, no, don't. I'm not quite ready to reveal that much about myself. But I'll let you in on a few of the things that make me smile but probably shouldn't. 

Pretty Little Liars - I know it's teenage viewing but man it has me addicted. 

Banana Milkshakes - made with ice cream if possible. I know they're bad for me but I just love them.

This instagram accounts - I should not love looking at these cute puppies as much as I do!

The Beach Boys - Honestly, if I'm having a bad day I put on Pet Sounds loud and it makes it better! I've loved them since I was a kid and nothing has changed!

Calling my dad for help -  yes, I'm supposed to be a grown up but sometimes it can be so reassuring to chat to my dad. Especially when I need help with something and he's pretty much got every solution there could be! 


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An April round-up and some May goals.

April was all about getting over some serious jetlag and a post holiday hangover. I took a nice little break from drinking and tried to get back to eating healthily (Although these pictures might not make it seem like that!) It was about remembering the trip, and spending time with Flash, and spending time in the sun. The WI I'm in won our first WI competition and I attended a fun blogger day. It was all about helping friends during tough times and some self preservation - mostly trying not to fall into old mental holes that aren't good places!

Now, on to May. Jim's away for a lot of the month in India, so it's just me and Flash for a while, and as today's #BEDM topic is Self Preservation Sunday, it seems fitting to post this today. 


What have you got planned for May? Anything fun?
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#BEDM: Introduce Yourself

So, it's time for Blog Everyday in May again. I've not made it through a whole month yet, but it's always fun to try. If you haven't heard of it or you have and you're thinking of signing up - do it. It's fun and you get to meet so many new people though it. Plus it's 31 days of ready made blogging prompts and who wouldn't love that? 


So on to today's prompt - Introduce Yourself. 

For those of you who might be new here through BEDM or for those of you who are returning and have often wondered who the hell I am - here goes. 

First off - the boring stuff - my name is Emma, I'm in my 30's, I live in Sheffield with my boyfriend and dog. Don't ask me who I love more. It will just get me in trouble with one of them!

So on to the other stuff. The important stuff you should know about me if we're going to be friends. I own too many not enough blue and white striped pieces of clothing. I'm happiest by the sea or in the mountains. I love amaretto, gin or elderflower cocktails. I have an addiction to buying Converse - well, trainers in general, but converse are the main problem. I have no clue how to do eyeliner. My favourite part of the day is waking up to morning cuddles with my dog. I'm searching for that elusive job that means I just get to play on Pinterest all day. I spend too much money on stationery supplies. I'm president of my local WI. I have a craft room I really don't use enough but is suitably covered in glitter at all times. I can bake a mean mojito cake. And I'll love you forever if you can get me a Canadian visa.

So, tell me about you! 
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