Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Year fireworks: 10 useful ways to protect your pets

During festive periods, people have to be extra careful with their pets when fireworks are on.

Pets are usually very scared of them; they tend to run away and, in the most sensible cases, they might as well get hurt or get panic attacks {Have you ever had a panic attack? it's not a nice feeling..}

Via pinterest

Animals in general, have a different perception of the sound and their hearing, especially dogs, is superior compared to the human one - so, when thousands of fireworks are exploding in the sky, it is easy to imagine why they get so stressed and anxious.

The following are some very practical suggestions that can help you deal with this situation and also help your pets:

1. Keep your pets inside the house: many people keep their pets in their garden, but in this case it is easier for them to stay inside the house as rumours are muffled and they will also feel safe;

2. Keep windows and doors closed and have the TV sound on, this will help keeping a normal environment in the house;

3. Make sure they have a nice and comfy place to rest or hide: if they are scared and are hiding (under the table or some furniture), please leave them there - they are  clearly feeling safer in the place they've chosen;

4. Act normally: don't over fuss your pet or they will understand that something is not normal or right ;)

5. Walk your dog out before the fireworks start {this should be normal, but never the less it's better to specify};

6. If you know that your pet has problems and has already got very much scared in the past (or had panic attacks), visit your vet: he will know what to give you  - do not use homemade solutions, always refer to professional advice;

7. If you can't keep your pet inside the house, please make sure you add a tag to the collar with all relevant details: name, phone number, address and eventually also the vet phone number.

8. Do not bring them near the fireworks - it is better not to leave them alone, but if you are playing with fireworks do not bring them with you.

9. If you have a balcony, make sure they are not there ( unfortunately, cats tend to jump off balconies when they are scared :( )

10. If you have a pet that is extremely affected by fireworks, please visit a vet and ask info about available methods and therapies for your pet, in order to find a long term solution {for the future}.

I sincerely hope I helped you a little!

Happy New year :)

Until next time,

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Baci di Cioccolato" {Chocolate Kisses biscuits}

The other day we celebrated a small Christmas party in the office and, as per tradition, all the teams have to bring something to eat typical from their Country.

I prepared some chocolate biscuits called : "Baci di Cioccolato" - they didn't come out as I wished but they were delicious {they ended in less than 10 minutes, it means something right?}

The original recipes comes (apparently) from Genova, Nord Italy and the biscuits name means "Chocolate kisses"..

The biscuit should be slightly rounder,this means I have added too much butter (meh :/) -- so, always trust the original recipe!!

The original recipe is {click on the image and print}:

This is part of my team at the CS gathering :
Italian & Scandinavian teams 
Since my dear colleague Sandra is on maternity leave, I'm taking care of the Scandinavian team - our cultures are so different but we are getting on very well and this was a nice way to share some love with typical food ;)

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mr. Mustache mug {DIY}

Do you remember my old Owl mug? My dear and precious DIY mug?'s now broken.

I didn't want to make another one, but I had a simple black mug and the Christmas stalls for the cat shelter I support was coming, so....I decided to paint a new one :)

November was the month of Movember, and decided to dedicate my new mug to it.

This time I used a proper golden pen that paints on ceramic - I bought it in Italy this summer and paid it 1.50€ which is more or less the same price of the Sharpie..only this doesn't need to go in the oven, takes 2 days to let it dry completely and...the colour never fades!! I'm very happy with it!

I'll show you my design:

The front

The back

I used this pen twice, but this time I was a bit in a hurry and I couldn't finish the mug perfectly....

 I got the inspiration from some Mr. and Mrs. mugs I saw in a shop { but they were 8.00 pounds each....basically, 9.50 euros!!! pfff}

If you want to make a donation please visit Spanish Stray cats on Facebook! {If you don't fancy cats, please help Spanish Stray Dogs} --They all need your help!!

Do you have any expensive mug you want to make a copycat from? :)

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

15 Gift Ideas for a Merry Christmas

It's 14 days till Christmas and I still haven't bought 1 single present ---- I'm panicking!

I'm usually well organised with this, I think in advance {months and months in advance} about all the things I would like to give to my friends and family...but this year I've only figured out the present I want to give to my Mother and my in-laws {..and I'm not 100% sure about it}!

So I began my online research and I have made a list of 15 gift ideas: all under 50 €! It surely helped me, I hope it helps you as well.

Gifts under 10 €

1. A classic book is my favourite gift -  I love books and I always like to receive this gift. The book here is Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I really like her books and I think this book would be a perfect Christmas Gift for only 8.27€.

2. For the cupcake lover! This Premier Housewares – cupcakes set (48 units)  is so Christamassy and very original!  It contains the 48 moulds and  the price is very good: 4.95 euros.

3. A super Dad could drink his coffee or tea at work in this personalised mug: Jamie Oliver - "Top Dad mug" .  If you don't know any super Dad, I think that a nice and original mug will do, for any kind of friends or family :) I personally love this one ::Stefano look here!!!:: :


Gifts under 20 €

4. Everybody knows a sportygirl or two, right? This JVC Pink headphones are the perfect gift for them! When I go to the gym I always have my Ipod with me - and this kind of headphones are perfect since you don't risk to lose them while running on the treadmill - a useful present.

5. Since my family is in Italy, I was thinking to take a nice picture of me and Stefano and give it to my mum and the in-laws for Christmas :) I know my mum would love it, I only need to find a nice frame! This Walther Home – wood frame  is simple and elegant and might be a funny idea to include 3 picture of the family with different facial expressions: funny - serious- super funny. .

6. A movie couldn't miss from the list! This movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas – Special edition  - I've chosen this one because it's Christmas, but there is long list of classic movies you could choose from.

Gifts under 30 €

7. This Dragonfly brooch with Swarovski cristals is absolutely stunning! I own so many scarves and this brooch would be the perfect accesorise.

8. PAY ATTENTION! I highly suggest you to "casually" leave the link of this pair of Sparkling Swarowsky earrings open on your husband/boyfriend/partner laptop so they can "casually" see it and eventually you can get them ;) so this item would enter in the self-bought Christmas present!

9. Do you miss the 70s? Look at this Dutch Woodstock 1970 special edition pack - it also contains a DVD! Love the artists in it!

Gifts under 40 € 

10. Isn't this the perfect present for coffee lovers? but not only! This Bosch Tassimo coffee maker also makes hot chocolates, cappuccinos and has many capsules to choose from! The price is a bargain!

11. Everybody can play at table matter the age! Risk is a classic strategy game that will entertain the whole family.  I'm not good at this game and when Stefano and I play at this, I accuse him of cheating -- and also, it is clearly evident that the dice conspire against me!

12. Perfect gift for kids (especially if you have two: kill two birds with one stone).This Ransome Sporting Goods – Junior rackets are a good starting point for a promising tennis career ;)

Gifts under 50 €

13. This Braun – hair straightener is a must have for every girl in this world {especially if you have wavy hair like me!}. This product doesn't dry your hair, and if you dye it -it's your lucky day - the heat won't make it fade :)

14. Men must own elegant and "manly" this CASIO . I bought a similar watch for a family member and I hope he found it nice and elegant as I did! {he still wears it, so it must be ok, right?}

15. I know who I could buy this Severin 0026 - Raclette Party-Grill to... seriously, you have a bbq on your dinner table and you don't even have to switch the gas or charcoal on! This is a genius idea!

I hope you'll find your inspiration...and if you have other ideas you want to share..feel free to leave a comment and I will update the post with them.

Until next time,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas decorations & DIY Felt Christmas socks

How are you getting on with your Christmas Decoration?

I am almost done {I say almost because I usually end up buying more decorations}:

My tree is up...

 My Santa is climbing the balcony...

my table is well decorated..

and my brand new DIY mini christmas socks are pinned to the shelf :)

You like them? it's not too late to make them yourself!

What you need:

 red, green and white felt

:: Step 1::
Draw a little sock on a white paper, you will be using it as a silhouette:

:: Step 2::
 Pin the paper silhouette to the fabric and cut - don't forget to cut the white fabric as well for the collar of the socks.

:: Step 3::

Sew the socks :)

:: Step 4::

Flip them over, sew the white collar  :)

:: Step 5 ::
Pin them wherever you like ;)

They may also be used as Christmas tree ornaments, depending on their size :)

Have you made your own Christmas decoration ths year?

Until next time,

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What have you been up to?

It's been 2 months since my last blog!!! time really flies..

In the last two months I have been enjoying many outdoor activities :)

I have been diving for the first time! We bought three groupons for this activity and it was very cheap. I have to admit, I was a bit frightned by it and didn't know if I could jump in the water with that huge oxygen bottle!!

The experience was amazing! Tarifa has beautiful ocean floors and I had the honour to watch so many colourful fishes ---and they we had a huge pizza to wrap up the day in brilliance ;)

{ pictures available - camera + water: dangerous combination!!}

Another first experience I've made was horse riding! I absolutely loved it and will make sure to perform this activity as often as possible!

We had a 3 hours walk with the horses and my horse was perfect. Cohibida was very good and calm and made me relax and enjoy a nice morning in the nature.

Another experience I want to share is the day we (Stefano, Canito and I) spent in Genalguacil, a small village in the mountains of Andalucia!

Last Christmas I gave Stefano a package of 1 night stay + breakfast and dinner... we used it almost a year later but enjoyed the treat!

The village is very nice, probably better in summer time and its characteristic is that you find artworks on the street - every two years the village organise an art festival where artists make sculptures and paintings, getting inspired by the beautiful landscape...the only condition  is that the artworks have to remain in the village :)

Canito loved the place, he thought he was at Disneyland! he's been running around the narrow streets and met all the local dogs.

That's not a real tree Canito!!

And we´re back to now...almost Christmas!! How are you getting on with the decorations and presents? I have a DIY project ready for you :)

Until next time,