DIY Cat Repellant

Hello Lovely,

I am the proud owner of two 11 year old cats. Cats make the perfect pets for lazy people like me. Feed ‘em, give ‘em water and they take care of the rest. They don’t interrupt my TV shows, I don’t have to bathe them and they play with each other. As long as their litter tray is clean, they’re happy. But there are a few things about cats that aren’t so great. THEY SCRATCH EVERYTHING! On top of that, I can’t leave flowers lying around, or my male cat will eat them. I never understood why cats like to eat plants. After photographing a meal, I usually have to dispose of the plants otherwise I know I’ll find it half chewed or worse regurgitated, somewhere around the house. So when I found this DIY recipe for a cat repellant spray using items I already have at home, I couldn’t wait to try it.

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Because cats are way more sensitive to smells than we are, they are less likely to mess with or chew on the leaves if they smell gross. so I made some repellant spray and hoped it would also work on furniture.

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materials

  • glass mist bottle

  • printable labels

  • printable square label paper

  • essential oils

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directions

  1. In your bottle, mix together 3/4 parts water with 15 drops of each essential oil. cats dislike eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint — just choose the ones you don’t mind the scent of yourself.

  2. Shake the bottle up and spray solution on the leaves of your plant and into the soil.

  3. You can spray your plants pretty liberally, and you can add more or less oil depending on what works for you and your cats.

So does this really work? I used essence of peppermint and this didn’t work at all. I sprayed some old placemats and it actually attracted my cat. He laid comfortably on it until I shooed him. And I never have a problem with them bothering my artificial plants. I was really hoping this would keep them off the furniture but all it really did was make the house smell minty.

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I’ll try this again with lavender or eucalyptus essential oil when I buy some later this month. If you try this, let me know how it works for you. Share your experience in the comment section below.

Preparing for House Guests

Hello Lovely,

Creating space for guests in your home involves more than providing a comfortable place to sleep; it's an opportunity to make people feel welcome and ensure that their time spent with you is memorable.

1.      Choose the Right Room

Ideally, a guest room is a bedroom with a bathroom attached. It should be inconspicuously placed, so that guests don't need to cross the busiest parts of the house to get to it for privacy. It also shouldn't be next to a child's room for peace and quiet.

2.     Decorate Sparingly
In a strange room, comfort and space are more soothing than a clutter of unfamiliar things. On a bedside table, a simple bouquet, a nice clock, and a selection of books or magazines suited to your guests' tastes.

3.     Outfit the Bed
Make up a double bed with four ample sleeping pillows -- two medium or firm, and two soft -- as well as two smaller pillows to prop up the head when reading. Use cotton or linen sheets, starched and ironed for hotel crispness. Provide both light and heavy blankets, as well as a lightweight throw for afternoon naps.

4.     Closets and Drawers
Make sure there is adequate closet and drawer space. Supply a variety of hangers -- at least a dozen good wooden or metal ones -- that will hold trousers and jackets, flimsy dresses, and heavy coats. And make certain there is a full-length mirror.

5.     Bathroom Essentials
If the bathroom is shared, clear space in it for guests' toiletries. Stock it with new toothbrushes and toothpaste, and a supply of clean cotton towels (two large bath towels, two face towels, and a washcloth) for each guest. Supply a few luxuries that one might not find at home: a beautiful soap, an unusual cream, a special shampoo, or a small bottle of perfume or cologne. If your guest has allergies, provide a hypoallergenic soap and moisturizer like Dove unscented.

After you've provided the basic necessities, consider some extra touches to make guests feel at home like a plush robe and salt or sugar scrub.

6.  Sitting Area
Space permitting, set up a comfortable chair or settee with a pillow and throw, an adjacent table, and a good adjustable-brightness lamp. Assemble a small personal library, including some magazines and a daily newspaper (useful for local listings like concerts). A radio for morning news and quiet evening listening is a thoughtful addition.

7. Desk Supplies
Provide a small desk or a cleared table top, and stock it with pens and paper, note cards, envelopes, and stamps. Compile a list of some favourite local places -- restaurants, cafes, museums, antiques shops, movie theatres -- and provide timetables, if appropriate, for buses, ferries, or trains. A telephone in the room is a convenience, but not a necessity.

8. Extra Warmth
If the room has wood floors, place a small rug beside the bed. Make sure you have a reliable water heater and plush comforters and bedding.

9. Food and Drink
Consider your guests' food preferences: If one is a vegetarian, or allergic to fish or dairy products, be sure your menus include options and that your pantry and refrigerator are appropriately stocked. Show guests where to find snacks, drinking glasses, and utensils, and encourage them to help themselves. Leave a few bottles of water on the bedside table in the guest room.

10. Don’t Overlook Technology Needs
No matter where I go, I can’t escape my television schedule. As long as my show is current, I have to stay up to date. And I can’t overlook a good Law and Order SVU marathon no matter what’s happening. Make sure your guests have access to a TV so that they can keep up to date with their favourite shows. And most importantly, have your Wi-Fi password written down and ready for your guests. Wi-Fi is very important because no one wants to use all of their data just because they’re away from home.

 

The Best Bum-Sculpting Moves for Your Butt Shape

Christmas is over now and so are the holiday parties. But you're probably still carrying around that pesky holiday weight and don't even know where to begin if shedding pounds was one of your resolutions. I know one of mine is to get a better butt, but sometimes I feel so lost when trying to find the right workout regimen for me. Sometimes it helps if you choose the right workout for your body. So if you're like me, keep reading on how to get your best butt in 2016!

Hourglass, apple, pear—you’re used to people talking about body types, but what about butt types? Maybe you haven’t thought about it at all, but certainly you've noticed not all derrières are created equal. So, why should your workout be one size fits all? Any trainer will tell you it shouldn't. The sculpting needs of a heart-shaped bottom differ from those of a square shape. Which is why we called up a few of favourite professional trainers to help devise a plan to tone and sculpt your unique butt shape.

Scroll through to determine your butt type and find the workout plan that’s right for you!

Find Your Butt Type

You may already know your butt type, but if not, we suggest recruiting a friend (a good friend) to snap a photo of your lower half in leggings. Don’t be afraid to get the straight-on shot, the side view, and even a 45-degree view. These photos will come in handy not only for determining your shape but also to monitor the changes as you progress with your bum-sculpting plan.

Once you know your shape, scroll down to find the experts’ recommendations.

Square shapes fall a little on the bottom and hold excess volume up top, which can create a muffin top. To lift your bum, Tracey Mallett, the program creator for 24 Hour Fitness responsible for Bootybarre, says you should focus on the gluteus medias—the lateral muscles that sit higher on your booty, closer to your waist. And to really eliminate that muffin top, Xavier Quimbo, co-founder and expert trainer at Speedplay, says you need to add rotation. “When you add rotation to your lunges and legwork, you're working your waist as well, which will help to trim down the love handle area. Two of my favourite exercises are a forward lunge with rotation and a reverse crossover lunge (or a curtsy lunge). Other than hitting your butt, these will target your waist, abs, obliques, and lower back as well,” Quimbo says.

Lunge with rotation: Hold a dumbbell right in front of your chest, do a forward lunge—dropping deep into a 90-degree bend in both legs and keeping your knee aligned with your ankle on the front leg)—and then rotate your trunk and the dumbbell toward your front leg. Do 12 reps on one leg. Then, staying on the same leg, do 12 curtsy lunges.

Curtsy lunge: Cross your left leg behind your right at about a 45-degree angle and lunge, come back to centre, and repeat. Once you've done 12 reps of each exercise, switch legs.

Side-leg lifts: Lay on your side with your bottom leg bent and your head resting on your ear. Keep your top leg extended and facing forward (as opposed to turning out the leg) with toes pointed, as you lift and lower your leg with control. Don’t let it come down completely and rest on your lower leg at the bottom of the movement. Do 16 reps, and then pulse it a few inches off the ground for another 16 reps. Then, Mallett says you can move on to the next exercise, keeping your working leg the same.

Squat with lateral raise: Stand tall with feet parallel hip-width apart, and then lower into a deep squat, sending your hips back toward the ground behind you. As you return to the top, lift your leg out to the side with a flexed foot. Repeat 16 times on one leg, and then switch to complete both side-leg exercises on the other leg.

“With the round O shape, the goal is just to maintain the shape with a great overall program,” Quimbo says. Both experts agree the best way to create more definition is to get all the muscles involved. “Hitting your glutes from all angles and in different ways will maintain firmness and help you keep the shape you want.”

First up, the lunge matrix. Do a forward lunge with the right foot, move your right foot out into a lateral lunge (your left leg will be straight in this lunge), and then move your right foot back into a reverse lunge. “Try not to reset in between lunges, but move fluidly straight through the lunge matrix,” Quimbo says. Do 10 to 12 reps on each leg.

Next, plié squats in second position. Stand with your feet are a little bit wider than hip-width apart, and externally rotate your legs at the hips so your toes are turned out. Lower into a deep bend in your knees, and then straighten your legs to stand up again. Do 10 to 12 reps. Then, Mallett recommends pulsing up and down at the bottom of your last plié for 10 counts.

Finally, find a countertop or chair for Pilates sidekicks. Stand bent over with a flat back, legs stacked under your hips and one forearm resting on the chair with the shoulder directly over the elbow. Place the opposite hand on your hip. With your foot flexed, lift that leg up to hip height. Then, keeping your leg at the same height, send it back straight behind you. Lower your working leg and repeat. Do 10 to 12 reps. Then, pulse your leg up and down at hip height for 10 counts. Repeat on the other side.

Heart-shaped bottoms are not lacking in the gluteus maximus area. The key is to work the hamstrings and the gluteus medius to lift the area. “The best exercises to perk up the heart shape and round it out a bit are lateral movements that attack the gluteus medius, which sits higher, closer to your waist,” Quimbo says. Mallett suggests some rear leg extensions to target the back of your upper legs—the spot where your leg meets your derriere (aka your hamstrings).

Start with lateral walks using a resistance band, like NeeBooFit’s Resistance Band Loop ($8). Place or tie the band around your calves. Quimbo says you should feel tension in the band when standing with feet hip-width apart. Stand tall, engage your abs, and take a controlled step out to the side with your right leg. Then, take another step with your left foot, bringing your feet back to hip-width apart. Do 10 to 12 steps, and then head back with left leg leading.

Next up, single-leg squats. “You can use a chair here as a reference for depth or for safety and support,” Quimbo says. Balance on your right leg with your left leg lifted off the ground in front you. Keep your arms extended in front of you for counterbalance, and squat deep on your balancing leg, keeping your abs engaged and back straight. But don’t simply lower straight down. “Make sure to initiate the movement by moving your hips back to really get into that butt muscle.” Do 10 to 12 reps on each leg.

Lastly, hold onto that chair and use it for balance with these arabesque and attitude lifts. Stand facing the chair with your legs externally rotated from the hips and feet turned out. Engage your abs and press your shoulders down and back. Place your left forearm on the chair with your opposite hand on your right hip to help stabilize. Keep your left leg slightly bent as you lift the right leg behind your body to just below hip height. Mallett notes that you will have to pitch your body forward slightly to reach that height. Just don’t let go of your form in doing so. Lift your leg up and down with control for 10 to 12 reps. Try not to rest your working leg on the ground at the bottom of the movement. Then, maintain the same position, but bend your working leg into an attitude position (knee lifted with a 45- to 90-degree bend). Do 10 to 12 reps in attitude, and then switch legs.

The experts have spoken: You really need to fire up that gluteus maximus (the posterior glute muscles that give your booty a little more lift and pop) in order to turn that V shape upside down. Quimbo suggests exercises that also focus on hip range of motion (it’s all a part of hitting those glutes) to plump up the saggy outer parts of this shape.

Loaded squats: Stand with your chest up and open, shoulders rolled down and back, core engaged, and feet hip-width apart. Hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand (or make your own) as you squat down and up, always coming to a 90-degree bend in the legs. Do 12 reps.

Goblet squats: Open your stance so that your feet are slightly wider than hip-width apart. Hold a heavy weight at your chest, as you squat as low as you can (exceeding a 90-degree bend) while keeping your feet flat on the floor. “By going past a 90-degree bend in your knee, you get that extra gluteus maximus activation,” Quimbo says. He also stresses the importance of keeping your posture upright in this movement. Do 12 reps.

Bent-leg pulses: For this exercise, Mallett says you’ll need a small ball, like ProBody Pilates’s Mini Exercise Ball ($11). Stand facing a chair with a ball behind the back of one knee. Pitch your body forward from the hips into a flat back position with your forearms are resting on the chair. With a small bend in your supporting leg, lift your working leg up level with your hips, knee bent to hold the ball in place. Flex your foot, squeeze the ball, and pulse your leg up and down 16 times.

All-fours lateral raises: Get in a tabletop position on all fours, hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips. Maintaining the bend in your leg, lift one knee up to the side to bring your leg level with your hips. With control, lower it down again without setting your knee back on the ground. Do 16 reps, and then repeat both exercises on the other leg.

Will you try your butt type-prescribed workout plan? Tell us below!

Pumpkin Frappucino

Happy Monday!

It has finally occurred to me and my wardrobe that we are officially in Fall!

I am so  sorry that I have not been keeping you all up to date with my Outfits of the Day via Instagram.

Besides having spotty WiFi at work (totally fixed now I hope) , I have been seriously spazzing out lately!

My weekends are just so packed I barely have time to actually relax.

One of my closest friends is getting married in two weeks and just had a bridal shower this past, weekend. OMG, don't I feel old! I am now at the appropriate societal age where you're expected to get married or at least have married friends.

Childhood where are you?!

I also went fabric shopping and spent all of yesterday cutting out patterns.

Fash l Art is less than a month away and I still have so much to do!

Speaking of which, I promised I would share the official cast photo with you, so here it is:

 

That's me, bottom left, green dress, sitting down!

(Now before you ask, no I did not make that, and it's actually a lighter green in person. My friendRia Georgina Additionally, my eyebrows aren't that thick at all)

 

I'm learning so much already in this experience and will try my best to document my journey for you all without giving away too much!

So far, it's been pretty stressful (but not in a bad way).

 

So to de-stress, I concocted this delightful little smoothie!

 

Here's how I got to make this.

Every Sunday morning, I make myself a bowl of cereal.

It's a tradition I had with my dad and I still continue it on my own.

I walked into the kitchen and what did I see?

A pot filled with cubed pumpkin, already boiled!

I knew it was meant for Sunday dinner, but I instantly started plotting.

 

I was originally going to make pancakes, but when the laziness kicked in, I decided on a beverage instead. And let me just say, this drink powered me throughout the day!

So much so, I didn't really leave much for my family.

It's just THAT GOOD!!!!!

PUMPKIN FRAPPUCINO

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ice cubes

  • 11/2 cups soy milk 

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 

  • 3/4 tsp instant coffee granules 

  • 3 tbsp whipped topping

  • 3 tbsp white sugar

  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix!

 

I sincerely recommend everyone to try this.

The flavours of fall bursts on your taste buds in just a single sip!

However, I would not recommend licking the blender. 

 

That might be dangerous.......