Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Wonderland Telford at Easter

We decided to go to Wonderland Telford for their Easter event and chose to go on Easter Sunday.  It has been years since I went when I was a child, at least 20 years if not more so I had completely forgotten what was there.  We walked round and saw all the little houses from the nursery rhymes which Macy loved.  There were things like Snow White's cottage, three little pigs, humpty dumpty, crooked house etc etc.  They weren't overly interactive in that you just peered into them, although you could go into the Hansel and Gretel house.  There was the White Rabbit's maze from Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit was there to welcome you.  

In terms of rides there were some fair rides aimed more at young children - under 10s.  The 'Easter Egg Hunt' took place around the Christmas Village and actually didn't involve any Easter Eggs as they say this is because of allergies children may have, I did however then find it a little odd that one of the presents was a little packet of sweets.  So the children went from house to house collecting little presents from the characters such as Snow White, Goldilocks etc  I think Macy ended up with a pencil, notepad, sweets, paper plane and bubbles. 

Macy is almost 4 and she really enjoyed it, I think if she had been a bit older she may have found it a little boring as the rides were very tame.  I think it would be nice at Christmas time as there is a whole village which is Christmas themed.  The park is looking a bit tired and could do with a bit of an update.  I am not sure I would have wanted to pay full price for the tickets, if you can pre book and get their discount it is a nice family (half a day) out.  If the weather is nice you can go to Telford Town Park as well which is great for all ages.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Omlet Fido Studio Dog Crate

Omlet were kind enough to send me the Omlet Fido Studio Dog Crate to review.  I had seen this come up on my Facebook feed recently and thought how nice it looked and having a new puppy it is ideal.

Crate Training

First of all I will talk about crate training as I noticed on their post on Facebook there were a lot of negative comments on 'caging your dog.'  When I had my first rescue dog 17 years ago the rescue centre recommended using a crate for her and we said 'no we aren't putting her in a cage it's not right.'  After a few days we realised we needed a crate, she was found wandering the Welsh mountains and was wild, she was panicking when she was left alone in the utility at night and actually managed to chew a hole in a wall in her bid to escape.  The crate we realised was for her own safety and as it turned out her security.  She felt safe in there, felt comfortable and was a lot happier.  I always now crate train my puppies, you can't be with them all the time, you need to sleep, to go to the shops etc etc During those periods they are safer in a crate, especially when they are teething as they might chew something that could do them serious damage.   I also have a 3 year old daughter and if my pup could play with her all day she would but you can tell when she is getting overtired and needs to nap, again a crate is ideal for that.
Introducing a crate is pretty easy, it is just a matter of the dog realising it is a nice place to be.  So you ensure every time they are in there they are enjoying it.  I feed all of my puppies meals in the crate so she is associating it with something nice, then when I do leave her I leave her with something nice to chew like a stuffed kong.  This has always worked for my dogs and they end up taking themselves off into their crates to settle.  There are also crate games that you can play which makes the crate fun, click here to see some more information.

Fido Studio

Onto the Fido Studio, first of all here is the erection time lapse video.  It is pretty straight forward and you can manage it mostly on your own, the only tricky bit being when you put the top on the crate section as you do really need someone to hold it in place.

I had to go for the larger Fido Studio as Kite is just growing out of the smaller crate size, to be honest I probably could have done with something in the middle size wise but Omlet only currently offer the Fido Studio in 24" or 36".  However because it is big it also fits my welsh sheepdog cross collie dog who is a big lad.  
I love the wardrobe compartment, when you have all the extras you have stacks of storage which is great as I can tidy the toys into a basket now and have a proper home for the lead on the hook and a coat on the rail. 

When I looked at the crate before it arrived I didn't really think I would be that bothered about the wardrobe but now it is here I love it, I keep a pack of treats in there as well as the toys.  It means it's so easy just to get some treats out and do a bit of training, not spending half an hour hunting down some treats first.
The product is really good quality, not like your Ikea flat pack, it is really sturdy.  It looks stylish, it doesn't look like an ugly dog crate.  The wardrobe is a great feature for storage, there is also a tray in the bottom of the crate for any accidents.  However this doesn't slide out like it does in a normal stand alone dog crate, you do have to pull it out at an angle, so if there was an accident, it would drip off the tray onto the wooden base.  So I do feel that this could perhaps have been designed better.  The bed that you can buy with the crate is really luxurious and looks stylish in there too.  
The crate doesn't have to be set up as above either, you can have the door of the crate on the other side and you can also put the wardrobe on the other side too so it is quite versatile.  Having two doors is great too as you can leave them both open which helps if you have a dog that isn't used to a crate and you are training him/her to go in, you can just leave both doors open and the dog can make the decision to go and lie down.
Here is a short walkround video and this was also Kite's first time seeing the crate so I was rewarding her for going in:
Visit Omlet's website for more information, you can buy the crate and accesorise it however you want to.  I do love the Omlet products, they are so stylish and this is fantastic quality.
I have not been paid for this post, however I received the Fido Studio for free in order to review. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. 

Monday, 10 April 2017

Omlet Cat Run Review

I was sitting out in the sunshine and thinking how nice it would be for the cats to have more of a run outside.  At the moment they have a bit of a run but it is all undercover so they don’t really benefit from the sun and they don’t get to feel fresh grass under their feet and I felt sorry for them.  When I looked at ideas I could only really see aviary panels which look ugly!  On my facebook feed I came across a sponsored ad for Omlet cat enclosure and it looked smart and an awful lot better than aviary panels.

Omlet originally started out having designed a chicken house (which looks fab and easy to clean) and a metal run to go with it.  They since developed their runs and now are able to sell one for cats.  What I liked about them was that they just blend in to the environment and don’t stick out like a sore thumb like aviary panels do.  It also sounded good as they are marketed as being easy to assemble and not needing any tools, I am not the best DIYer in the world and hubby works a lot so if it's easy to erect then that is ideal for us.

I started off by ordering the run that 3 panels long by 2 wide, the beauty of it is that you can order any size you like to fit your garden.  They do a low rise and high rise version but for cats I would say you always need the high rise walk in version as they are natural jumpers and you don’t want to restrict that.  When the run arrived and we finished putting it together I realised that it wasn’t big enough so I ordered two extension packs to increase the length to 5 panels long.  Again, if ever you want to extend in the future it is really easy to do.  If you need to save up a bit more for instance, you can add to it at a later date.

Erecting the Enclosure

With the high rise version I would say it is a two person job because it is difficult to hold the panels in the air and clip them in place.  However it is really easy to put it all together and you don't need tools (apart from for the door lock).  Some reviews have said they found the clips tough and yes some of them are fairly tough but they aren't too bad, they have to be fairly tough to make sure they don't come undone.  The instructions don't make it obvious that the poles go on the inside of the mesh, also the roof panels are a different size to the top panels and we hadn't noticed this till we had put a few up!  Oops.  It probably took us a couple of hours to erect.
Clip holding the mesh panels to the upright poles
Clips hold the top and bottom panels together
Clips holding the roof panels to the roof bar
What I did find was that the panels didn't always line up perfectly and that is probably to do with our garden not being completely level (if put on a patio for instance am sure this wouldn't happen).
Corner mesh doesn't line up properly
Corner mesh lined up perfectly
This however is only cosmetic as it doesn't affect the use and realistically nobody is going to notice it.  The extension pack was easy to add in as it was literally just a matter of unclipping the clips and clipping the extra panels in.
On my enclosure I left the one bottom panel out so I could attach the run to the indoor heated beds and they can access this via a cat flap.  Some people I know have left the top panels off and attached the run to a house and it can then be accessed via a window.  It is quite versatile and you can really tailor it to how you want it.
It is strong enough to take climbing bengals!!
One downside to this enclosure is that I don't feel like it would be strong enough to attach walkways for the cats to the sides high up like some enclosures I have seen.  They would need to be freestanding, I have a kiddies play cube in there at the moment and that is providing them with entertainment.  There are also people that make outdoor cat climbing trees. 
Solace - seal lynx bengal boy
I have two entire bengal boys and they spray so unfortunately they do have to be kept outside, they have heated beds, indoor runs and now an outdoor run.  My girls live in the house but now on a sunny day I can put them in the run for a bit to enjoy the fresh air as I feel sorry for them cooped up indoors on a nice day.  People may say these enclosurers are cruel but other people say letting cats out to terrorise the local wildlife is cruel too!  One of my girls is blind so I could never let her out locally as it is just too dangerous, we also recently had a case where a local cat had to have it's leg amputated after getting it stuck in a trap :(  
Shady - seal mink (double apb) bengal boy
Spice - brown bengal girl, blind
Spec - seal lynx (charcoal) bengal girl
Tweed - brown F4 bengal girl

Video from inside the enclosure:

So in summary I would recommend the Omlet enclosures as they do blend in to their environment, when you have the run in your garden you don't want it to stick out like a sore thumb and these don't.
  • Secure 
  • Low maintenance - they can just be washed off
  • Door locks from the inside and outside
  • Easy to put together
  • Options to extend in future as well as buy roof coverings etc too
  • Visit Omlet's website, they currently have a sale on!!!!
I hope this has helped as I struggled to find any in depth reviews and wanted to see a bit more information on the product.  

I have not been paid for this post, however I received the run at a discounted price in order to review. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

TRX2® Initial Thoughts

I signed up for a trial in conjunction with Mumsnet and TRX2® and today have received my pack!

I have 3 Months’ supply of TRX2® Molecular Food Supplement for Hair and 3 Months’ supply of TRX2® Hair Revitalizing Lotion.  I had never heard of TRX2® before so was intrigued to know more.

TRX2® is a treatment to help people who are suffering from thinning hair.  Now I am not going bald and hopefully never will (it doesn’t seem to run in our family) however I have noticed that as I get older my hair is getting thinner and I notice more of it falling out in the shower.  Therefore this appealed to me and I am interested to see whether after the three months I notice my hair is any thicker.

The product is all natural and free from any artificial colours and preservatives – I don’t like the thought of taking a supplement that isn’t natural so this again appealed to me.  I can easily take three tablets with my evening meal which should boost the absorption of essential nutrients within the hair follicle to support the production of strong, healthy hair.  Alongside the lotion which needs to be applied twice a day and this has active components which penetrate the skin, nourishing and helping to revitalize hair follicles.

I am looking forward to (hopefully) having stronger, thicker and healthier hair!

Thanks Mumsnet and TRX2® :)

Monday, 3 April 2017

Champion Shady!

I have been trying different organistations of cat shows recently as my young boy is very dark for his colour category in his breed.  For anyone who knows bengals he is a double apb mink and is virtually charcoal in colouration.  Due to this some of the organisations in the UK don't want the charcoals in the ring as they need to go through a new colour process (I have tried to find out what this process is and to help initiate it but it seems it needs a 'group of breeders' to do this and being new to the breed I don't know many people).  So it is a matter of finding the right place to show him.
GCCF no longer accept charcoals so that was a no go, I tried FIFE and they also said it needs to be a separately recognised pattern.  CFA aren't holding any shows in the UK, I do know that they accept charcoals but the breed isn't yet full championship status with them.  

So that left TICA to try, I really wanted to take a couple of cats but being my first TICA show I thought it would be too much and I am glad I only did take one!  TICA is a busy day, your cat gets judged 6 times which is great as it isn't just one person's opinion and there were judges from all over the world there.  As a result it is quite stressful for the cats and the bengals don't seem to cope too well generally.  Shady started off fine as he is a chilled dude but when a cat next to him started having a bit of a hissy fit he copied.  The judges are fab with them generally and spend ages with them on the table playing and helping them relax, the lady judge from Italy was particularly good.  I don't think it is possible to show two cats in one class when you are on your own, it really would be a struggle.
 Anyway TICA were quite accepting of his colour, though they still prefer two tone rosettes.  They liked him and the French judge finalled him which meant he achieved Champion status.  TICA have been looking at getting charcoal separated out into a separate category but for the here and now they can be shown in their relevant colours for example seal mink etc. 
I do think as a breeder it is good to know what the judges are looking for and I don't know how anyone can breed without having attended a show as without actually physically looking at the breed you don't learn as much.  I still love the charcoal snows, always will and eventually they will be fully accepted the same as any other colour, because it is fairly new (although the genetics actually come from the Asian Leopard Cat) judges aren't 100% sure.