Housing your bunny

Wondering what the best way is to house your rabbit? In this post I’ll be showing you how my bunny Amelie lives, and how her and Hector lived before!

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Rabbits need to have at least 4 hours exercise everyday, which means keeping them in those small cages or hutches that they usually sell in animal shops is wrong. I’ve already mentioned this before in my other post which you can find here. When we got our bunnies we bought a rabbit cage (that was big enough for them) where they stayed when I was asleep or not at home; as soon as I was at home the cage doors were always open.

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A cage has to be:

  • High enough for your bunny to stand on it’s hind legs.
  • Long enough for your bunny to do at least 4 hops.
  • And of course big enough so your bunny can fully lie down.

Types of cages/housing:

  • Rabbit cage (it must be big enough for your rabbits)
  • Puppy pen (if it has no roof make sure it’s high enough – rabbits can jump very high!)
  • Free range (no cage at all, just make sure your room is bunny proofed)
  • Rabbit pen for outside (the wooden ones are very stabile for indoors as well and usually have a roof)

Various flooring/bedding:

  • Straw (might stain your rabbit’s paws yellow. When my rabbits were babies they also thought this was their toilet too – resulting in them weeing everywhere in the cage. As soon as I changed the flooring to a blanket they only urinated in the toilet!)
  • Towels/blankets (great as you can rewash these – just watch out your rabbit doesn’t eat a lot of it)
  • Newspaper (only recommended underneath something, as it stains your rabbits paws and if they eat it too much the ink can be harmful)

What to use for litter in the toilet:

  • Wood pellet litter (this is what I use and love – smells woody and as it’s pellets it doesn’t get thrown everywhere when Amelie jumps out of the toilet.)
  • Shredded newspaper (not such a great idea, especially if your rabbit eats it! Not very absorbent and smells bad quickly)
  • Wood shavings/saw dust (I started off with this but it smells bad quickly and as it’s so light the shavings fly everywhere – very messy!)
  • Do NOT use cat litter as if your rabbit eats this it will clump in their stomach and they die 😦

How to furnish your Bun’s house:

  • Bunnies love to have a “safe place” where they can hide – you can make them a cardboard house, cover a chair with a blanket so they can sit underneath it or buy a wooden house which they can lie in.
  • The toilet (make sure it’s big enough and that the walls are high enough – otherwise they could miss and urinate next to it.)
  • Water – a bowl or bottle (Amelie loves to throw bowls around so we give her a bottle)
  • Hay (in the toilet or a hay rack next to the toilet – this encourages your rabbit to do their business in the toilet!)
  • A dig box (I put hay in a cat toilet which is perfect as Amelie digs the whole night away in her dig box! No hay comes out as it’s covered and she has all the fun she wants. Perfect for rabbits who love digging)
  • Toys – rotate your rabbits toys everyday/every few days to keep them stimulated. A few are: sticks, straw balls (ones that have bells in are great) and tunnels.

My buns fell out with each other for a few months, but once they were rebonded they lived free range in the room. This is possibly the best option for your rabbits if the room is bunny proofed. There was nothing dangerous for our rabbits, however they nibbled on my boyfriend’s jumper and bit all the walls and skirting boards. Since Hector died Amelie has taken her anger out on the walls, biting them more than ever. To protect the walls and Amelie we’ve bought her a rabbit pen that’s actually for outside – but is perfect for indoors too!

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It’s 150 x 150cm and Amelie is allowed to come out under supervision, although she’s more than content in her pen. It has a roof which is also good as Amelie is a ninja when it comes to jumping, and you can open it to clean the cage. I have to say although this does take up a lot of space it’s the most reassuring type of housing for me. I know she’s safe in her pen and at the same time she has enough space to move around and binky!

I found my pen here and there are lots of similar ones on ebay!

I hope I covered everything but if you have any questions then leave me a comment below 🙂

Larissaingermany x

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The Best Eggless Cookies

I stumbled across this recipe whilst craving something sweet and not having any eggs at home. I’ve been experimenting with baking cookies for such a long time to try and make them big, flat cookies but I was never successful, until now!

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Don’t they just look amazing?! Now I have to be honest with you, the first two times I baked these cookies they were perfect. I stupidly didn’t write the recipe down and a month later I’ve been baking like a mad woman trying to get my perfect cookies again. The recipe I’m going to share makes the perfect cookies, although I’ve had to put in a little trick to make them flat – as for some reason they don’t stay flat in the oven anymore! As this cookie is eggless it’s also very easy to make it vegan – just make sure you buy vegan margarine, yoghurt and chocolate.

What you need (makes six big cookies):

  • A packet of chocolate chips/half a chocolate bar (I tend to just cut up a chocolate bar, it’s a lot cheaper!)
  • 1/2 a cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 3 Tablespoons of oil (I use sunflower oil but coconut oil is also good)
  • 2 Tablespoons of margarine
  • 4 Teaspoons of vanilla yoghurt (If you can’t find vegan yoghurt you could just substitute the yoghurt for oil)
  • 1 Teaspoon of baking powder
  • Vanilla essence or vanilla sugar

What you have to do:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Mix the margarine and sugar and vanilla sugar/essence together until it is creamy. Add the oil and yoghurt, mix, and then slowly start adding the flour and baking powder.

Tip: I mix using the back of a spoon, that way the mixture doesn’t get stuck on the spoon.

If you find the mixture is too dry then add some more yoghurt, if you find it’s too liquidy add flour! The mixture should be slightly sticky. Cut your chocolate and mix it in.

Cover your baking tray with baking paper and brush some oil onto the paper. Put generous dollops of mixture onto your baking tray and make sure you spread them out!

20150602_085309 Push each cookie with the back of a spoon to make them flatter. Pop them in the oven for 13 minutes.

And now for the trick:

Check your cookies 2 minutes before they are done – if they look quite “fat” then push each cookie with the back of the spoon again so they are flat. Leave them in the oven for the remainder of the two minutes and then take them out. They should be slightly brown.

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Leave to cool and then they’re ready to eat! Let me know how your cookies turn out when you try out my recipe, I hope you enjoy them 🙂

Larissaingermany x

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5 Mistakes When Trying to Lose Weight

There are so many people who try to lose weight but never succeed, I’ve formulated a list of very common mistakes that will hopefully help any of you wanting to lose weight and have a healthy body!

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Mistake #1

Watching the scales like a hawk.

Many people who want to lose weight solely base their weight loss on how much they literally weigh, although this sounds logical it can be a massive mistake. Unless you are actually very overweight, there is no need to check how much you weigh everyday! If you aren’t technically overweight but feel the need to lose a few pounds, you can do this very simply by eating healthily and doing exercise. The reason why you shouldn’t go by what the scales say is because once you start exercising, you gain muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat so what happens is at first you gain weight. The more muscle you have the more fat you burn and therefore you will tone up and lose fat.

Mistake #2

Starving yourself from carbs/all food.

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Potatoes and asparagus are complex carbs – full of fibre and leave you feeling fuller for longer

Just from the title you should know this is a bad idea! When you deprive yourself of food your body goes into starvation mode. This means when you do eat something (even if it’s something light like fruit of veg), your body will automatically put it in it’s fat reserve… making you gain fat rather than lose it. Avoiding all carbohydrates is also a bad idea as this is what gives you energy, what you should be doing is avoiding simple carbohydrates: You digest these quickly, they don’t have much energy and therefore you’ll be feeling hungry after a short period of  time. They can be found in foods such as white bread, white rice, sugar, cake, white flour and fruit juice. Complex carbohydrates are great as they are high in fibre and take longer to digest which makes you feel fuller for longer, a few examples are: brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta, wholemeal flour, nuts, lentils, kidney beans, potatoes and spinach.

Mistake #3

Going on a diet.

Technically, there should be no such thing as a diet. If you do decide to go on a diet and eat healthily for a month or so you might just lose weight! The thing is, you should carry on eating healthily afterwards. If you think “Yay! I’ve met my weight target”… it doesn’t mean you can go back to eating Mcdonalds every other day. This is called the Yo Yo Effect and is very common, and also very logical as to why it happens. You eat healthy and exercise – you have a healthy body. As soon as you have a healthy body, you fall back into your old habits and therefore gain weight again. The trick is to not think of it as a diet. Your nutrition and exercise regime is a lifestyle that you should be basically doing forever.

Mistake #4

Eating the right food but not exercising

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Find a sport you love! Check out my mini workouts to add some exercise into your day

If you want a healthy body you should be exercising as well. A lot of people think it’s enough just to eat healthily, but with exercise you can get a healthier body faster and many health advantages! Cardio increases your metabolism rate (making you lose weight faster), decreases the risk of heart disease and strengthens your legs, bum and tum at the same time. Weight training is also good as it builds muscles, making you look toned and as I said before, the more muscle you have the more energy you need – which burns calories and fat quicker. Find a sport that you particularly like (whether it be running, Pilates, weight lifting, spinning etc) and once you’re having fun you won’t think of doing sport as a chore.

Mistake #5

Eating fat free products.

This is a mean trick made by the food market industry. It says “fat free” or “light” on the packet and you think you’re deciding on the healthier option, but the real truth is that there’s a lot of hidden sugar in these products. Just think, if they take all the fat out of a yoghurt for example – they’re going to need to put a lot of artificial stuff in to make it taste as good as it was before! It is also very often that they put gelatine in the product to thicken it – a little tip for any vegetarians out there. The next time you buy a fat free product have a look at the ingredients. If you see any of the following: sucrose, fructose, lactose and maltose then they are all sugar. You might be thinking, “okay.. but sugar isn’t fat, so it’s not that bad is it?” but as I mentioned before sugar is a simple carbohydrate,  meaning it leaves you feeling hungry quickly. Also these are artificial sugars, they are high in calories and can lead to weight gain rather than weight loss. Ditch the fat free yoghurt and light coke and instead eat healthy fats such as avocado, eggs, nuts or fish.

So there are my five mistakes to trying to lose weight! The main point is to think of losing weight not as a weightloss diet plan, but a new, healthier lifestyle for yourself – that isn’t a short term plan but a permanent change. Can anyone relate to these problems or has another problem they would like to add?

Larissaingermany x

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It’s The Small Things

I love buying little things for the flat. Whether it’s flowers, a fridge magnet or something more practical I always find it makes such a difference! When we first moved in we bought a run of the mill cabinet for our bathroom.20140722_162911

It’s just a wooden cabinet (from Ikea) with a mirror on it, but it came with the ugliest door knob!! A weird little white button… luckily you can buy door knobs separately in other shops that come in a variety of patterns and colours. If you’re from Germany you can find them in Depot, Butlers, and in the summer and winter festival “Tollwood” in Munich. I’ve also seen them in Zara Home for anyone in a different country. They cost around 4 euros and are perfect for making a normal piece of furniture a little bit more personal.

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We bought a green and white one for the bathroom. Look at the difference:IMG_20140722_19301420140723_170957

Isn’t it a lot better?! When our kitchen is 99% complete I’m also planning on finding some nice ones for all the cupboards and drawers, I was thinking these white and blue ones fit perfectly:

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Do you have any small things that you buy to make your flat feel more personalized?

Larissaingermany x

3 Minute Arm workout for Beginners

I’ve created a small workout for you guys who are looking to tone up your arms. I haven’t added the typical press ups as when I started doing sport I couldn’t even manage one press up! So if you have the same problem that I had, then these are the perfect exercises to strengthen your arms and get ready for real press ups. The main targeted area for this workout are the triceps – the muscle underneath the arm that everyone wants to tone to stop it from wobbling. I haven’t added any exercises that include the biceps, mainly because you need weights to be able to do this and so it will be coming in a different post. 😉

Exercise 1: Single Arm Side Push Up

Muscles you’re training: Pectoralis Major and Minor (pecs), triceps brachii (arm muscle), errector spinae (back muscle), external and internal oblique (side stomach muscles), abdominis rectus (abs), deltoid (shoulder muscle).

Arm 1

Exercise 2: Tricep Dip

Muscles your training: Triceps brachii, errector spinae, pectoralis major and minor.

Arm 2

Arm 3

Exercise 4: Standing press up

Muscles you’re training: pectoralis major and minor, ticeps brachii, abdominis rectus, deltoid.

Arm 4

Variation of Exercise 4:

Arm 5

Exercise 5: One sided standing push up.

Muscles you’re training: pectoralis major and minor, ticeps brachii, abdominis rectus, deltoid.

Arm 6

All exercises listed:

10 Side push ups on each arm.

10 Tricep dips.

10 Standing press ups.

10 Standing press ups with the heels up.

10 One sided standing press ups on each arm.

And that’s all of the arm workout. Aim to do this at least 3 times a week and you’ll be ready to do press ups in no time. It’s only 3 minutes long so you can do it any time during the day! If you’re feeling extra motivated try doing it twice a day. Hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think 🙂

Larissaingermany x

RIP Hector

Some sad news, yesterday my little Hector died.

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I almost can’t believe that I’m writing this post, on Monday he was hopping and binkying (jumping from all fours with happiness) around, and now he’s gone. I wont tell you the whole story, but Tuesday evening he fell ill, we had to take him to a different vet as ours was closed and that vet insisted it was nothing serious. On Wednesday morning I could tell it was serious and rushed him to the vet, but he didn’t make it and died on the way. They don’t know what was wrong with him, because his hair, teeth and ahem, poo all looked very healthy. But my normal vet said if the idiot vet on Tuesday had taken blood then he would have found out it was a serious illness.

Hector was such a friendly bunny and I loved him to bits, I’m so heartbroken that he had to die so young and that I couldn’t help him. Here are some photos of my best little bun.

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What makes it worse is that Amelie is all alone now. They slept, ate and played together, they always groomed each other and they were inseparable. It tears me apart to know that she’s sitting there alone without him. She’s taken it quite well and is still eating and drinking which is the main thing. She’s taken out her sadness on the wall and keeps on biting it, but otherwise she’s doing fine.

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I’ll miss you Hector, my cuddly chocolate bunny.

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Healthy Potato Wedges

Hi guys!

Here’s a new favourite recipe of mine, I’m loving potatoes at the minute as they leave me feeling full but not heavy. It’s really easy to make and a lot healthier than buying ready made or take out potato wedges. It’s also hassle free as there’s no peeling involved, just a bit of cutting and seasoning and it’s ready to go in the oven.

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What you need (for two servings):

  • 6 Medium sized potatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Herbs/seasoning – I use frozen herbs (parsley, chive, dill and cress) that are already finely cut.
  • Sunflower oil
  • A dip to serve them with – sour cream and herb quark is my favourite but you can choose what you like!

What you have to do:

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Cut your potatoes into quarters and put them on an oven proof plate. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle your herbs, salt and seasoning on top and pop in the oven.

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Leave them in the oven for hour until they start looking brown (you can poke them with a knife and if they’re soft in the middle they’re done!)

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Wait a few minutes for them to cool and then serve them with your dip. As this recipe is so simple you can experiment with it, maybe sprinkle some cheese on top before they go in the oven or how about using sweet potato instead?

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Larissaingermany x

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Amelie is a Special Bunny

Hello!

Sorry I haven’t posted in almost two weeks – I haven’t forgotten I’ve just been way too busy with work, and last week I went on a spontaneous trip to France! But now I’m back so let me tell you my experience in keeping a “special bunny”, maybe someone else’s rabbit is similar?

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The reason I call Amelie a special bunny is because everyone else calls her it. The vet calls her “wild” and gets “back up” every time I enter the vet, my boyfriend thinks she’s mad and our bunny sitter says she’s only allowed to come back if she lives outside instead of inside (after she wee’d on all of her walls).

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Look behind the cute face and you see all the stains she left on all our walls

Amelie was always an adventurous bunny, I like to think of her as Indiana Jones – always wanting to dig deeper and jump higher. When she grew up her hormones kicked in, and she began to spray her urine everywhere.. making it only worse when I tried to clean it up as then she would spray it on me! After she was spayed this stopped happening… until we took her to a bunny sitter for a week in which she decided to wee everywhere (the funny thing I found was as soon as she was home again she stopped doing it). She also likes to eat everything, not just food but also the walls and the skirting boards, she’s even managed to eat the wall right down to the insulation. She jumps so high she can reach the window sill, meaning we can never fully open the window as she could fall out. Today was the first time she’s ever bitten anyone, and the poor victim was my Mum! What’s more baffling is that we got her when she was a baby, so nothing bad could have happened in her life that could make her so nervous and “special”.

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On the windowsill

She’s also a very vocal bunny. She stamps when she’s scared/doesn’t like someone, grunts when she is ahem, horny, squeaks when she’s scared (this happened during the rebonding session between her and Hector) and also wags her tail when she gets annoyed.

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Despite all of the above, I love her to bits and I don’t find her that wild or mad. When I’m the only one with her she’s the cutest, funniest bunny ever, who’s learned to trust me. Although she doesn’t like being picked up, she hops onto my lap for a cuddle, or if I’m on my knees cleaning she’ll climb up onto my back. When I call her name she runs to me and pokes her face in mine to say hello, and if I throw her straw ball she runs after it like a little dog. So this is a post for anyone who might have a “special” bunny like mine. I’ve learnt to understand Amelie isn’t so special, she just finds it hard to trust other people and gets very nervous around new faces, and that’s just who she is.

I also bought her a cat toilet to use as a dig box, so now she spends all day happily digging away and I’m happy it isn’t on the walls or the floor.IMG-20150413-WA0002

Even if Amelie is sometimes hard work I wouldn’t give her away for the world. Does anyone else have rabbits with interesting habits or personalities?

Larissaingermany x

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Hector inspecting the new dig box

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5 Minute Legs Bums and Tums workout

Hi guys!

Here’s a workout I’ve created for anyone looking to tone up. It’s super quick so you can fit it in everyday and the exercises are simple and easy which are great for any beginners!

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Let’s get started:

Exercise 1: Crunches.

Which muscles you’re training: rectus abdominis (six pack) and transversus abdominis (deep lying muscle).

abdominal 1 test

abdominal 2 test abs 3

Exercise 2: The circle.

Which muscles you’re training: rectus abdominis (six pack), transversus abdominis (deep muscle), internal oblique and external oblique muscles (side stomach muscles).

the circle abs 1

the circle abs 2

Exercise 3: The bridge

Which muscles you’re training: rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, errector spinae (back muscle), gluteus maximus and minimus (bum muscles), hamstrings (back of your thigh), gastrocnemius (calf muscle) and hip adductors.

the bridge 1

the bridge 2

 Exercise 4: On all fours

Which muscles you’re training: rectus abdominis, gluteus maximus and minimus, hamstrings.

all fours

all fours 2

all fours 3

All exercises listed:

Here’s a quick check list so once you know all the exercises you can just skip to this bit.

10 crunches bending and stretching the right leg

10 crunches with the right leg stretched to the ceiling

10 crunches bending and stretching the left leg

10 crunches with the left leg stretched to the ceiling

3 rounds of crunches in the circle – right diagonal, middle, left diagonal, middle

10 times doing the bridge – lifting your hips up, lifting your heels, lowering your heels and lowering your hips.

10 times on all fours lifting the right leg up and down

10 times on all fours lifting the left leg up and down

And that’s it! You’ll be done in around five minutes. If you don’t have a yoga mat then you can use a towel instead. Please note that only doing this workout won’t magically give you abs or a bum like JLo, it depends on your nutrition and if you do any other exercise as well – but this workout will of course help you reach your goals! I hope you enjoy my mini workout and I would love to hear what you think of it 🙂

Larissaingermany x

Painting a Narrow Room

Hello!

Last month we painted the bunny room, it’s quite a narrow room so I’m going to share with you how we did it and what it looked like in the end!

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The reason we decided to paint it was actually because Amelie, my rabbit, urinated on the walls when she was hormonal (thank god she doesn’t do it anymore).

Seeing as we had to paint it anyway, I decided that we may as well paint it a different colour. I’ve never actually painted a room before. The only time I picked out a colour was when I was a child and got to decide on a new colour for my bedroom. For some reason I picked orange (I wasn’t even a fan of orange I don’t know why I picked it?!) and it looked very… well, orange.

The first thought I had was painting the room a neutral colour, like grey or grey blue. I’m usually very indecisive but as soon as I saw this colour I loved it!

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Paint from “swingcolor”

This is the before photo, sorry it’s an old photo of when we had just moved in – hence all the boxes and no bunnies!

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I decided to paint the two long walls the blue-grey colour, and leave the wall with the window and the opposite wall (with the door) white. This was pretty risky as usually if you do this, your room will probably end up looking narrower than before! BUT, I had a plan. We didn’t paint the entire wall blue-grey, we left a frame around the edges. So, in end effect the white frame made the wall with the window on look wider than before!

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The white frame makes the smaller wall look wider.

The guest bed has also arrived so all we have to do is build it! It’s white and will look beautiful up against the walls.20150512_214159

Tip: The painting isn’t the time consuming part, its the preparation beforehand. Make sure you tape everything well and cover the floor! To make the frame we just used the width of the tape – a lot easier as then you don’t have to measure anything out.

So what do you guys think? Half way through painting I was terrified that it would look like a tunnel, but as long as you put a frame around it it really does make the smaller wall wider.

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The after photo – sorry I couldn’t fit in the second wall in!

Larissaingermany x