WE GOT A PUPPY | Buying Process | What to expect when viewing a puppy | Preparing for the new arrival

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On 31st October 2019, all my childhood dreams came true – we got a puppy!

Buying a puppy can be an extremely exciting time but also a very daunting process. In this blog I will be discussing some of the main questions about buying a puppy but also about the whole experience – including what to expect from your viewing!

There are so many questions you have to ask yourself to make sure you’re getting it 100% right! You need to make sure you’re asking all the right questions and know what to expect going into it!

When we were researching, we found all the answers we wanted about buying or adopting, what breed was best and the key facts about the puppy and breeder in order for it to all be legal, but one thing we didn’t find much information on was what to expect from when you go to view your puppy!

Why did we choose a Labrador?

We had done a lot of research on what breed would suit us. We’ve always wanted a bigger dog and having grown up with my grandparents Labrador and seeing what an amazing breed they are, we decided on a golden Labrador.

Why didn’t we adopt?

I know a lot of people have mixed feeling about buying a puppy compared to adopting, however, and as much as I’d have loved to adopt, there were certain aspects of adopting that weren’t quite right for us but the main issue was that they could have suffered something in their lives that makes them hostile towards children, and my partner and I didn’t want to put off starting a family for 11 years or so. Despite there being other factors that could have been a good fit if we had a family, we weren’t ready to take the risk.

How easy was the whole process?

We have been looking for puppies for around 6 months and, unfortunately, the majority of the time, the puppies would sell so quickly!

The site we would look at was Pets4Homes.co.uk. Here you could filter what pet type, breed and location and see all of the key facts about the puppies, including information on up-to-date vaccinations and if they are kennel club registered.

When we finally found a litter, we contacted the seller and arranged a viewing of the puppies. We viewed them when they were 5 weeks old but weren’t allowed to take them home until they were 8 weeks old.

Puppies must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned before they can leave their mothers.

Overall, from arranging a viewing to collecting the puppy, we waiting for around 4 weeks. Our breeder was extremely helpful and answered all of our questions and kept us up dated with pictures whilst we waited until we could collect him.

What to expect when viewing a puppy?

I found there is a tone of information on what you need to know about buying a puppy and the process but hardly anything on what to actually expect from your viewing!

From my experience, we arrived at the breeder’s house who greeted us and led us to the puppies. There were 7 puppies in total (5 dogs and 2 bitches) who were in a pen. As we walked in all of the puppies were really excited and were jumping up to get out attention.

The breeder advised us that the puppies with collars were the ones that were already picked, but she told us we could pick up and cuddle any puppy.

We held a few to see what their temperaments were like and how they reacted to us. We came across Archie quite quickly. He loved cuddles but was also quite playful and no afraid to be handled! After both of us handling him, we decided that he was our potential pup.

We said to the breeder that we love the puppy but had a few questions for her. We asked everything we wanted to and she answered everything for us! We also asked if we could meet the mum and fortune, the dad was also there so we were lucky to meet both. This is so important and you should ALWAYS be able to see the mother.

After all this, we made our decision and asked if we could go ahead and start the process! We paid the deposit and were issued a receipt/ certificate to say we’d reserved our puppy and arranged a date to collect him!

There is so much information on pets4homes about important questions you should ask and a puppy/dog adoption checklist which is so helpful!

Preparing for your new arrival

Once deciding on our puppy and reserving him, we had to start preparing for the arrival.

You need to think of a place where your puppy’s bed will go and where they will sleep. We discussed the use of a crate for training so we bought a large crate for in the house for bed time and a smaller crate for the car.

Other important things to buy before you bring your puppy home are puppy training pads for small accidents whilst you’re toilet training, a comfy bed, blankets, toys, food and water bowl and treats for rewards.

Another thing to consider is if you want to put stair gates up. We have on between out living room and hallway so he has full range of the living room, kitchen and out into the garden.

Finally, you want to make sure that you have some food in ready. Your breeder will most likely give you a week’s worth of food, but it’s best checking and also asking what food they recommend. Now our puppy is home, we are getting used to crying in the night (us as well as the puppy!) and adapting to having a new member of the family in our house! Despite being a lot of hard work, it is one of the best decisions we’ve made and our family feels complete! I can’t wait to watch him grow and share it all with you!

I will be posting our puppy’s first week at home next Sunday along with many updates so stay tuned!

From now, I will be posting twice weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays! Sign up to email notifications to be notified when I post!

Hannah xo

Instagram: @hannah_brixey

House Instagram: @at.home.with_hannah

Pinterest: @hannahbrixey

My Cosy Autumnal Morning Routine

Autumn is possibly my favourite season guys!

As much as I love warm summer evenings, I find there’s nothing better when the morning air is crisp and the leaves begin to change.

As I am about to jump back in to studying full time, I wanted to share my cosy morning routine that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

This routine is my typical Monday-Friday routine as a uni student. My weekend routine differs slightly as I like to wake up a little later enjoy some much needed time off to snuggle up and have a duvet day binge watching Netflix or going out to a National Trust for a walk in the fresh air.

6:30am Wake Up

Even without an alarm, I wake up around 6:30am everyday. (Dang you internal alarm clock!)

Before getting out of bed, I like to give myself time to adjust to being awake whilst it’s still dark. I drink a glass of water to hydrate then make my bed – a freshly made bed leaves you with a fresh mindset for the day.

7:00am Get Ready

This is my favourite part of the day as it’s half an hour to an hour where I dedicate time to myself.

I usually wash my hair on an evening so I don’t have that to worry about it in the mornings, giving me a bit more time!

After showering, I like to brush my teeth then begin my skincare routine. I like to keep a simple but effective skincare routine.

I have recently discovered the My Clarins skincare range by Clarins. My Clarins is a vegan friendly, plant-based skincare with anti-pollution complex designed for 18-25 year olds.

My first step of my skincare routine is to wash my face with Garnier Micellar Water Face Wash (£3.99 at Superdrug) as it removes any make-up residue and leaves my face feeling clean.

I still like to cleanse after washing my face. My go-to cleanser is the My Clarins RE-MOVE Purifying Cleansing Gel.

I then spray my face with the My Clarins RE-FRESH Hydrating Beauty Mist. I like to use this spray in the mornings as it soothes and softens my skin that’s in need of a little TLC.

Finally, I moisturise my face using the My Clarins RE-BOOST Refreshing Hydrating Cream. This moisturiser is a great everyday morning moisturiser as it’s light and really refreshes your skin, providing a perfect layer before putting on your make-up

My Clarins RE-BOOST Refreshing Hydrating Cream £22, My Clarins RE-FRESH Hydrating Beauty Mist £17 and My Clarins RE-MOVE Purifying Cleansing Gel £17 all available at https://www.clarins.co.uk/my-clarins/

When it comes to make-up and I’m at home studying I like to go for a simple make-up look.

For foundation, I use Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in the shade ivory (£24.65 at Debenhams) . I then conceal under my eyes using the Ubran Decay All Nighter Concealer (£20) in the shade Fair warm. My favourite contour product for years now is the NYX Wonder Stick – Contour Stick (£11) in the shade light to contour. It’s so easy to use and I love the way it looks!

When I’m doing a simple face of makeup, I do like to make sure that my brows are looking on point! I use both Benefit Precisely, My Brow Eyebrow Pencil (£21.50) and Benefit Gimme brow+ volumizing eyebrow gel (£21.50). These products combined give you the subtle yet defined brows! And finally to complete the look, I use Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£22), and yeah, it lives up to its name!

When it comes to hair, I’m not the most creative – it’s a messy bun (but I mean literally messy, not the cute messy bun if you know what I mean…) When I’m working, I like to have my hair out of my face so it doesn’t annoy me and it means getting ready is easy! I quickly spray my roots with Batiste Instant Hair Refresh Dry Shampoo and apply a small amount of ELVIVE Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream on the ends of my hair to keep it looking and feeling healthy.

My go-to outfit is usually something comfy, but something that can be dressed up if I need to run an errand! My perfect autumn outfit is typically a jumper dress with either tights or leggings and some brown boots. I will usually dress this up with a denim jacket if I’m going out of the house.

8:00AM Make A Coffee And Prioritise My Day

Once I have made my morning latte, I like to sit down and start to plan my day of studying. I’m usually a tea kind of girl but I love a coffee in the morning, especially a pumpkin spiced latte this time of year! There’s something great about the smell of a pumpkin spiced latte which leaves me with all the cosy, autumnal feels!

When it comes to planning and prioritising my day, I am lucky that I have a study planner already planned out for me by The Open University, so each morning I look over my study planner and then make a note of what I need to do.

I did a 5 Things I Learned In My First Year With The Open University blog back along explaining what it’s like to be an OU student and sharing my top tips for future studying!

8:30am Begin Studying

I have always been under the impression that you should have a dedicated work space where I feel creative and peaceful and also it means that when you have finished your work, you can leave that space behind and enjoy relaxing without having to look at a pile of books staring you straight in the face! This is why I never work in bed!

Currently, I am doing up my spare room into a relaxing space where I can work where I’ll have lots of pillows, blankets, fairy lights and candles – trying to create a nice chilled environment when really I’m stressed out to the max!

If you want to keep up to date with this room transformation and future house updates, then check out my home Instagram and give me a follow! @at.home.with_hannah  

When I’m studying, I like to have some music on in the background as I find it helps me concentrate.

Some of my favourite playlists on Spotify to listen to whilst studying include: Reading Adventure, Perfect Concentration and Study Zone.

I like to generally listen to music without lyrics so that I’m not distracted and start to sing along!

12:00pm Reading Break

Instead of zoning out on my break and going on social media, I like to keep my mind focused but also take me some place else. Which is why I like to read.

In the summer, on my break I would head outside and enjoy the sun, but in the autumn when it can be rainy the majority of the time, so I like to read as it not only does it helps me relax it keeps my brain active.

I am current reading Still Me by Jojo Moyes which is the third book in the Me Before You Trilogy Series – a must read feel good book!

I’ll usually read for about an hour whilst having some lunch then head back to studying.

What does your autumn morning routine look like?

If you enjoyed this type of content, let me know in the comments of any future posts you’d like to see!

Hannah xo

Instagram: @hannah_brixey

Home Instagram: @at.home.with_hannah

Pinterest: @hannahbrixey

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How To Make Mickey Rice Krispie Treats

Back in June 2019, we had an incredible trip back to Walt Disney World Florida where we got to try some of the amazing food that they offer!

In Disney, you can pretty much find any of your favourite foods in Mickey shape, including waffles, pretzels, cake pops and ice cream sandwiches.

One of our can’t miss treats in Disney is of course a Mickey Rice Krispie treat! Our favourites this year including the crushed Reece’s Peanut Butter cup, Oreos and chocolate, and of course, the mini M&Ms, which is what inspired me to make these tasty treats and share the recipe with you to make at home yourself and bring the taste and smell of Disney treats to your home!

These gorgeous Mickey Rice Krispie treats come in so many variations – but I’ve stuck to our favourite, and possibly most popular, for you today: Mini M&Ms.

RECIPIE

Serves 6 | Prep Time 20 Minutes | Total Time 1hr. 30

INGREDIENTS

55g (1/4 cup) Unsalted butter

300g (6 cups) Marshmallows

150g (6 cups) Rice Krispies cereal

To Decorate:

200g Chopped milk chocolate

M&Ms (you can use anything to decorate)

METHOD

Melt the butter in a large (preferably non-stick) saucepan over a low heat.

2

Once the butter has melted, add the marshmallows and stir constantly until you have a smooth sticky mix.

When you have the sticky mix, take off the heat immediately and add the the Rice Krispies to the pan

Please bear in mind that this bit can get extremely sticky!

Then, Line a 9 x 13-inch baking tray with grease proof baking paper (or grease the tray with butter oil or non-stick spray) and spoon the mixture onto it.

To spread the mixture evenly and to avoid an extremely sticky mess, I recommend that you cut another piece of grease proof baking paper and place it on the top of the mixture.

Then spread the mixture evenly using a rolling pin.

Once the mixture is spread evenly, remove the grease proof baking paper from the top and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

If there is any residue on the paper you have just removed, add a small amount of cooking oil to your fingers to get the residue off and add to the mix where necessary.

Once the mixture has set, remove from the fridge and turn out onto a work surface or cooling rack.

Use a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter (I will link the ones I used down below) and cut the mixture into shapes.

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To make the chocolate for the ears, put a pan filled half way with water over a low heat until it simmers. Then, place the chopped chocolate over the pan in a heatproof bowl, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes until (or until meted).

Alternatively: Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bow and microwave for 30 second intervals until melted – stirring between each interval. Dip the Mickey ears into the melted chocolate, shake off any excess chocolate, then place back onto the cooling rack and gently press on some mini M&Ms and leave to set.

If there are any other decorations you would like to add instead of mini M&Ms, the just add them once you have dipped the Rice Krispie treat into the melted chocolate and again, place them on gently.

You can also cover the whole front of Mickey with chocolate and then decorate for another design!

Now you have your tasty Mickey Rice Krispie treats and your home should smell a lot like Main Street Bakery! (You’re welcome)

Storage

These Mickey Rice Krispie treats are best eaten the day of making them – however to keep them fresh for 2-3 days, store in a lock-tight container. They do not need to be stored in the fridge.

Let me know if you try out this recipe and how your treats look!

If you’d like to see more Disney/ food related content then please let me know in the comments below!

Mickey Ears

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Hannah xo

Instagram: @hannah_brixey

Pinterest: @hannahbrixey

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Living With POTS: My Story

When I was only 12 years old, my life changed completely. I had to stop doing the one thing I loved and hit a very low point in my life.

Now, 8 years later, I am better, happy and coping well on a day-to-day basis and want to share my story of how I was diagnosed with POTS.

What Is POTS?

For those of you who don’t know what POTS is, POTS UK define Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) as a “potential life altering and debilitating health condition. Simply standing up can be a challenge for affected people as their body is unable to adjust to gravity. PoTS is due to an abnormal response by the autonomic (automatic) nervous system and is characterised by orthostatic intolerance (the development of symptoms when upright that are mostly relieved by lying down). Symptoms include palpitations, light headedness, fatigue, sweating, nausea, fainting and headaches, and are associated with a persistent increase in heart rate from the lying to upright position.”

My Diagnosis

In October 2011, I had my HPV vaccination at school. Little did I knew, only a few weeks later, things wouldn’t be the same…

At a trampoline competition, I remember saying to my coach that I felt incredibly dizzy before competing and that I didn’t think that I could compete. I did end up competing however little did i know that would be the last time i would get on a trampoline.

It was around 3 years before I was diagnosed with POTS and for those three years I was in and out of the doctors/ hospital feeling constantly fatigued, dizzy, frequently blacking out at school and just feeling generally unwell.

On my second visit to the hospital, after blacking out in school a year later, I was told by the doctors that I had an eating disorder and was depressed therefore needed to see a mental health specialist.

Despite seeing a mental health specialist for 6 weeks, something still wasn’t right and I knew that something was still wrong. I would now be frequently passing out, every time I stood up, ate or overheated my heart would beat uncontrollably, but still nobody had the right diagnosis for me, and the suspected diagnosis list kept growing and I hit an all time low.

I was a trampolinist since I was 4 years old, and I had to give this passion up. I was devastated and I couldn’t understand why I had to give up my passion/ dream because I was feeling so unwell.

Eventually, after arguing with the doctors for months that something was wrong, I was lucky enough to see a neurologist who ran numerous tests including the tilt table test and MRI scans, who finally gave me the right diagnosis, POTS.

When you’ve finally been given a diagnosis after many months/years of battle, it is such a sigh of relief and you can finally see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Treatment

Currently, there is no cure for POTS, however, beta blockers are often prescribed for those suffering. I take a low dose of propranolol which treats a number of types of irregular heart rates. But you should never rely on these tablets to help you.

Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle has dramatically helped my POTS and has abled me to get to a stage where I can reduce my dosage of propranolol.  (please make sure if you are looking to reduce your dosage to see a medical specialist before hand.)

Day-To-Day Life

5 years on, I now have very few blackouts and major symptoms of POTS, however I do still have to give myself up to 30 minutes in the morning to sit up right before getting up otherwise I can feel nauseous and dizzy. During this time, I will either read or go on my phone to pass the time and drink a glass of water; I will then shower and get ready to start my day before starting my university work.

If you have already read my other blog 5 Things I’ve learned In my First Year with The Open University then you know that I am able to study at home around a time that suits me; so if I need more time in the morning if I feel dizzy, nauseas etc then I am able to be flexible around my studying.

I start the day by waking up around 6:30am and making sure I have a solid breakfast which usually consists of a berry smoothie, a bowl of cereal and a yogurt. Around 9am, I will start uni work, then usually around midday I will head to the gym for an hour’s workout. Sometimes going to the gym is a breeze, other times it can be your worst nightmare as even after 5 minutes you feel like you’re about to throw your guts up or pass out on the treadmill. If you feel like this, its usually a sign you should stop for the day and try again tomorrow, but never give up.

At various points in the day I can feel dizzy, nauseous or fatigued. I get through these spells by eating something salty as this will bring my blood sugar back up and give me the boost of energy I need. Great snacks for this are mars bars! These were my best friend in exam season at school!

Some days are better than others, but you should always remember it will get easier and even though it’s not always plain sailing, and I’m telling you, there are some pretty rough days, but I promise you, the good days outweigh the bad, and there is life after being diagnosed with POTS. 

I am now a full time university student, travelling as often as I can and living in a beautiful house with my amazing boyfriend, and the best part is he loves me unconditionally despite my illness he continues to supports me everyday.

If you want more information on POTS, then visit https://www.potsuk.org/

If you would like more POTS related posts pease let me know! Or if you have POTS, comment down below, I would love to hear your story!

Hannah xo

Instagram: @hannah_brixey

Pinterest: @hannahbrixey

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5 Things I’ve Learned In My First Year With The Open University

University, the best years of your life, or the worst? For every student, their university experience is different.

2017 feels like just yesterday. It was a year of change for me and for quite a few months I was questioning what the next step in my life would be. After many tears and long discussions, I decided to take the plunge and signed up to The Open University to study a BA (Honours) Education Studies (Primary) degree.

Somehow, it’s been a year since I started with The Open University and September is fast approaching. So here are just a few things I’ve learned along the way including a fair few life lessons during my first year with The Open University.

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Self Motivation Is Key

With any work that is done from home, self-motivation is a given.

Before starting my studies with The Open University I knew that it would take a lot of self-motivation to be able to complete my work and get my assignments in on time, however, I don’t think I was prepared for how much was needed.

I was lucky in my first year to have 2 great tutors who would regularly send emails out to check on how I am finding work and I was lucky to also be a part of some amazing forums with others that are studying the same subject as me.

Distance learning can leave you feeling quite isolated as you’re learning independently and it can be difficult to find the motivation to do your work as there is no one there to nag you. It’s something I have to push myself to do and find the best ways to motivate myself even when I feel I have zero motivation.

Over the past 12 months I have definitely found the best ways of motivating myself, and the forest app has become my new best friend! (if you know, you know!)

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You Have To Find That Balance

Studying at home can be great as it means you have that flexibility when it comes to when you want to do your work, but sometimes, you need to be strict with yourself.

As I slowly got into my studies, I learned how many hours a week I needed to put in, what time of day I could work most effectively and how I could fit a social life around my course. But sometimes, you can become too strict on yourself and not find the time to relax and have a social life, especially around exam season!

It can take a while and can be difficult to find that balance but it is really important that you do as it will make you a more effective learner.

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It Can Be Incredibly Rewarding

There is something tremendously rewarding when you get your results back from an assignment that you’ve completed independently and have been able to motivate yourself without all of the modern day distractions… * cough * Instagram.

When you receive the results you’ve worked so hard for its such a confidence boost as you’ve achieved something all on your own with little to no help, especially when you exceed your expectations! It’s a feeling like no other and gives you the motivation you need for the upcoming assignments/ year.

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Underestimating Myself

It’s something that probably any student goes through at some point in their study, but I cannot begin to tell you how much I’ve doubted myself over the past year, especially when it comes down to studying and thinking about future career plans.

I’ve worked extremely hard over the past year, but I still feel after putting in my all, it still isn’t good enough.

Despite feeling this way, I am incredibly proud to have come out of my first year averaging at a 2:1, but I know what I need to do in order to achieve my goals and know that I shouldn’t underestimate myself. Sometimes you just have to believe in yourself and know you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

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I Am Still So Young

Something that I’ve struggled to accept for a long time and throughout my first year at uni is that I am still so young and I don’t need to have my whole life figured out! At the end of the day, does anybody really have their whole life mapped out?

It is important to stay focused on your dreams but don’t let them take over your happiness. I am a great believer that everything happens for a reason.

With 2 more years left, I still have no clue what the future holds for me; whether I’ll be a teacher, an educational psychologist, a play therapist or something completely different! Nothing is certain, but I am excited to learn new things about something that inspires me and come out with a degree. Just trust yourself and believe you can do anything you set your mind to.

One step at a time.

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To plan and prioritise my work, I use the Dodo Acad-Pad which is a A mid-year diary, doodle, memo, message, engagement, calendar, organiser and planner book for students, teachers & scholars. This diary is quite possibly the best planner I’ve used and is perfect for students! To purchasw your, please use the link below

Dodo Acad-Pad

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you’d like to see more university related content from me then please let me know, it’s something I’d love to do. Maybe a post explaining why I chose open uni over anything else? Your thoughts are always welcome!

Have you ever studied with The Open University? What kind of experience did you have and what did you learn from it? Or, what have you learned from your time at any university? I’d love to hear from you. 

Hannah xo

Instagram: @hannah_brixey

Pinterest: @hannahbrixey

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Welcome to my blog

Hey and welcome to my blog! My name is Hannah, a 20-year-old, homeowner and open university student. I decided to create this lifestyle blog to share my experiences of the daily way of living and share some awesome information that can potentially improve your lifestyle! So stay tuned and I will be posting all things student, fitness, beauty, travel, nutrition and house related topics!

Love Hannah xo

Instagram: @hannah_brixey

Pinterest: @hannahbrixey