A parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.


This week something bloody amazing happened!... We got a puppy!! *Insert ridiculously girlie scream here!!* Dan & I have wanted a dog for honestly, as long as I can remember, but because we've been living in a flat two storeys up we thought it'd be pretty difficult & unfair on a newborn. 
However!...We're moving house this week into very our own home  with a garden & let's be honest, we didn't really need an excuse to buy a fricken adorable puppy, but that's what we're blaming it on!

From being a little girl I've always wanted a beagle, there's just something about the breed that really struck a chord with me. Maybe it's the colouring, maybe it's the super duper long ears, maybe it's the naughtiness, maybe it's all three - Who knows? But I love 'em!!
We put a lot of research into getting our little beagle pup & this is where we discovered the Lemon Beagle. As far as I was aware beagles were black, white & tan (tri-coloured) I had no idea a Lemon Beagle even exsisted, but let me tell you, my heart melt when I saw them! 
Still keeping the typical beagle pattern, Lemon Beagles have a white, caramel, tan colouring - In other words, they're flipping beautiful!! I knew we had to have one!!

We used pets 4 homes to search for our perfect companion which is a really helpful & easy website to use. By the looks of it you can advertise pretty much any animal for sale which is cool. After a few hours of searching (it didn't take long at all) we found the most adorable 8 week old pup!

Meet Willow...

There was only Willow & 1 of her sisters left when we went to visit, so it was absolutely heart breaking choosing between them & breaking them up. Luckily for us the other pup was being collected a couple of hours later, making light of the situation.

We've had Willow for three days now & even though she's been a little bit naughty (which we can totally look past, because she's so young) she's been unbelievably good! She seems to have settled really well & has almost (barring the sofas) differentiated between what's hers & what's ours in the home. 
We've gone straight in with toilet training because it's something we thought would take a really long time for her to master, plus we didn't really know how to do it. Eeek! Surprisingly however, she's picking it up rather quickly! We've given her a specific toilet area, with newspaper down on the floor & she's really taken to it. She's still having a few accidents, every now and again, but what she's learnt so far is amazing, we're really impressed with her. 
We've found out after bringing her home, that beagle's are supposedly renowned for being quick learners so I think we've got a good'un!

Willow hasn't had her full injections yet, so we can't properly take her out unfortunately. We're hoping to get booked in at the vets this week so she can have both sets of injections & then start going for walkies. All in all, it'll be another 4 weeks before she can go outside properly which feels like absolutely ages away at the moment - Hopefully it won't take too long!

At the moment Willow is really snuggly - I think she's used to having her brothers & sisters around to cuddle into! Once she gets cosy, she can literally sleep for 80% of the day & loves snuggling into cushions, throws & pillows which is the most adorable thing! She looks ridiculously cute with her long white ears flopping down over her eyes!! Argh - I could just eat her!! She's so bloody beautiful. 

Have you got any tips for training a new pup? We'd love any tips & tricks you've got! 

Lots of love | Claireabella & Willow. X


Where have I been?... It really takes a lot to get me stressed, but (& I'm sure you'll agree) there comes a point after working continuous 40 hour weeks where your brain slowly begins to frazzle. 
The pressure of buying our first house together (mainly because we don't know what we're doing) has really taken it's toll on Dan & I. And after just over two months of the buying process, we're very nearly homeowners, we can see the light & the end of the tunnel now & it's finally getting to the stage where we can get giddy about having those precious little keys in our hands!
Miraculously finances have worked in our favour & we had a little bit of left over money to treat ourselves with, which was amazing... Hence a no phones, no internet, no stress break to Griffon Forest Lodges.

The lodges are set in Griffon Forest (Duh) just outside of York, which was a perfect location for us as it's only an hours drive from home. We've stayed in a similar lodge before so we kind of had an idea on what to expect, but how this one differed massively is just how outdoorsy & close to the woodlands the lodges are. Surprisingly there are over 50 lodges on the complex, but because each lodge is privatised in its' own little woodland setting, you wouldn't have a clue. It's so peaceful & serene.
The lodges are decorated in a typical log cabin style, heaps of pine & tonnes of cosy fabrics to snuggle up with. 
Griffon Forest Lodges have everything you could ever want, basically they're the most stunning homes from home... Only with a hot tub! 
Gahh I miss that hot tub already, it was amazing.

We decided to get out & about, and explore as much countryside as possible  and even though we forgot our flask we took both our butts on an 8 mile hike. 
We walked from a teeny tinny (& pretty creepy) village called Thixendale (sorry if you live in Thixendale) right over the valleys to Wharram Percy, an aincent village with the most beautifully ruined church. 
I love finding hidden treasures like this! I think people underestimate how beautiful the UK can be.

We also spent a day at Castle Howard, which in all honesty I'm still not 100% what it is, or who it belonged to, but let me tell you something - It's bloody stunning! With over 2000 acres of surrounding woodland & gardens as well as the actual house itself you could literally spend all day there. I'm really into architecture & interior design yet it was the outside space that blew me away - It's certainly given me ideas for my own garden in the new house... Even though we have nowhere near the amount of space!

We spent an amazing, blissful five days in the lodge which is exactly what the doctor ordered. We were out exploring most days (I didn't want to bombard you with scenery photos) so it actually feels like it's been a really tiring week, especially on my little legs, but it's been fantastic. 
Perfect to get away from it all, forget about the house stress, the social media pressures & get back to basics... Not that a hot tub's a basic, but you know what I mean.

I'm sure I'll be back blogging regularly in the next week or so, but for now I'm just going to chill out and relax & more importantly wish I was still in the tub!