Why keep chickens?

Why keep chickens?

Why keep chickens?

The trend of keeping chickens is on the rise and because not much space is needed, it’s no longer a hobby just for people living in the country.  Many city dwellers are also enjoying their own free range eggs from their very own backyard chickens.  But why keep chickens?  Well, there’s far more than just free eggs to gain from these fascinating creatures.

Why keep chickens?

Nutritional Benefits:

One of the most healthiest ways to start your day is with fresh eggs.  The beauty of keeping your own chickens means that you don’t even need to get out of your pyjamas to collect your breakfast eggs.

More importantly, you know exactly what you are eating.   No more will your eggs come from chickens who have been fed engineered and antibiotic laden crops.  Both of which are designed to force chickens to grow larger and lay more eggs while compromising the health of us eating them.

Also, the nutritional values of freshly laid eggs from keeping your own chickens far outweigh those bought from shops.  Your chickens’ eggs will have more than seven times the vitamin A and Beta Carotene of shop bought eggs.  They will also have double the amount of vitamin E and they contain far less saturated fat.  So keeping your own chickens is an excellent way to ensure a far healthier diet.

Why keep chickens?


Ok, so there is an initial cost of keeping chickens, unless you are particularly good at DIY and can build your own chicken coop and fencing to ensure your chickens are safe from predators.  You will also need to buy the feeding equipment and provide them with a bathing area.  But once this is set up, keeping chickens is relatively inexpensive and can in fact save you money:

Why keep chickens?

Free Manure:

I know this might not be the most exciting news to some, but if you have green fingers and love your garden then chicken manure is exactly what you need.  It is one of the most desirable manures you can get due to its high nutrient levels.

It is estimated that keeping between five and ten chickens will produce enough fertiliser to take care of your vegetable garden or yard for an entire year.

Plus chickens will rid your garden of weeds, as they scratch and claw the ground.  They will also eat and disperse weed seeds that have blown in, so keeping chickens will save you a lot of backache from pulling up unwanted weeds as well as saving you money on manure.

Ethical Reasons to keep chickens – Preventing cruelty:

Many of us believe that if we buy a box of eggs with ‘Free Range’ slapped across it, we are buying the eggs of happy chickens.  Sadly we are not.   In fact there is no definite description of what constitutes ‘Free Range.’  At the minute chicken sheds are considered ‘free range’ if they adhere to the following guidelines:

  • no more than 9 birds per square metre
  • 10cm of feeder per bird
  • 1 drinker per 10 birds
  • ability to go outdoors at some point in a 12 week period

Why keep chickens?

So not very ‘free’ then.  In fact some multi-tiered sheds that abide to these guidelines and are therefore classed as ‘free range’ house up to 16000 hens.  And while these poor birds can theoretically go outdoors, the truth is most are too crammed in and traumatised to even find the few exit holes they are provided with.

Because of these horribly cramped conditions, even more cruelty is inflicted upon them.  Beak trimming is extremely commonplace in the UK and almost all young hens have part of their beaks burned off, without anaesthetic, to stop them pecking each other while living in such awfully restricted conditions.

We wouldn’t dream of treating dogs or cats in the vile way that too many chickens are kept in this country.  Yet chickens are also emotional and intelligent animals just like cats and dogs .  They love to play, exercise and are incredibly social.  Chickens have a great memory and can differentiate between  100+ human or animal faces.  Hens make great mothers and ‘talk’ to their chicks while they are still in the egg.  They also turn their eggs over 50 times a day to care for their unhatched offspring.   Chickens, like humans, have their own individual personalities.  Some are chatty, some are quiet, some are playful and some are serious, but all are a lot brighter than we give them credit for.

Why keep chickens?

Sadly but also importantly, chickens feel pain and distress and mourn for each other,  just like us humans. This means they are deeply affected by the conditions in which they live.  So keeping chickens of your own in a loving and happy environment is a very ethical thing to do.

Ethical Reasons – Cutting down on Landfill:

Food scraps make up 17 % (20 million tons) of what is sent to landfill.  Keeping chickens helps us drastically improve this, as they will eat pretty much most kitchen scraps.  They love fruit and veg peelings, bread, leftover beans and rice, oatmeal and pasta, etc.  Make sure you know what is bad for them though.  Meat and other animal products are best avoided.  Their love of eating scraps is also one of the reasons keeping chickens is fairly cheap.

Our Own Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing:

It has been proved that chickens are very effective at improving our own emotional well being and are extremely successful when used as part of therapy.

Chickens have been successfully used to help children with autism, patients suffering with PTSD  and the elderly suffering with dementia.  This is down to their calm nature and love of  interacting with humans.

Children with autism love getting involved with feeding and caring for chickens and it has been proved that watching chickens’ routines and heirarchies actually promotes independent living skills.

It has also been proven that watching chicken’s movements and the way they socialise is calming for patients suffering with PTSD, dementia and other psychiatric disorders.

Finally, all of us can benefit from watching their individual personalities and social heirarchies, which is not only fascinating but combats loneliness and depression.

Why keep chickens?

So why keep chickens?  As you can see there is a whole multitude of reasons but to sum it up: they are good for us and we are good for them.




Decorate your home for Halloween

Decorate your home for Halloween

Decorate your home for Halloween

Halloween is the perfect time to be creatively creepy and we have lots of ideas to inspire you to decorate your home for Halloween.

Decorating your home for Halloween needn’t be expensive.   In order to create a ghoulish greeting for all those excited trick or treaters you needn’t break the bank. So if you want to make your home look spooktacular for Halloween then we have advice on how to best decorate your home for Halloween on a budget:

Decorate the outside of your home

First impressions count! The entrance to your home will set the tone. Your decor should entice trick or treaters or your Halloween party guests to get in the mood for some freaky fun.

  1. Avoid raking your lawn in the days leading up to Halloween.  You can then cover the entrance to your home with old crunchy leaves to create a perfectly spooky sound effect under the feet as your guests or trick or treaters approach your house. If you don’t have fallen leaves in your garden then head to the local country park with a bin bag and collect some free Halloween decorations.                                                                                                                                              Decorate your house for Halloween
  2. Line your path with creatively carved pumpkins.  Or place a gathering of different shaped and sized pumpkins either side of your door. Fill them with twinkly lights to create a warm and inviting yet spooky glow to your home. Or carve words into them to give your visitors a spooky warning, with phrases like ‘Turn Back Now’ or ‘We are Dying to See you’.                                                                       Decorate your home for Halloween
  3. Cover your front door, porch, house nameplate or house number, doorbell and letterbox with fake cobwebs and spiders to create a spooky and neglected look. Or even create a temporary nameplate just for Halloween.  You could also add a fake creepy doorknocker that can be stuck temporarily over the top of your existing one with double sided sticky tabs.  A few ideas to create a nightmarish number or nameplate include:  No.666.  No.13.  Salem’s Lot. Cemetery View.  Dr.D.Mented’s Asylum.  Fright Farm.  Elm Street.  Terror Towers.  Amityville.  Or for something not quite as scary, take a leaf from Scooby Doo’s book and rename your house The Mystery Manor.Decorate your home for Halloween
  4. If you have some spare old rotten wood, nails (the rustier the better!) and paint at hand then you could create a spooky street sign pointing out the way to some imaginary creepy towns and place it in the front of your lawn using a stake shaped piece of wood to secure it upright. (See Picture)Decorate your home for Halloween
  5. Have a skeleton popping out of a plant pot or out of your front lawn.  You can also add some of the crunchy leaves you collected and a large stone to make it look like he’s rising from the dead.Decorate your home for Halloween
  6. Hang a ghost from your porch or a tree. Cut some holes in an old sheet and hang it over a beach ball or balloon.  Add string and hang it from the ceiling of your porch. Add some extra string to the sheet to help curl the edges out to give it a more ghostly shape.Decorate your home for Halloween

Inside your home:

  1. Cover your couches and chairs with old white sheets to create an abandoned eerie feel.   The older the sheets, the better to make it look like your home hasn’t been used in years.Decorate your home for Halloween
  2. Just like outside, use cobwebs to cover pictures, ornaments, bookshelves, et cetera to create a spooky, neglected look. For an extra creepy feel add skulls, eerie black and white photographs and a candelabra or two.Decorate your home for Halloween
  3. Cover books that are on show in black paper and add creepy titles. Nobody needs to know that underneath the cover of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is really Nicholas Sparks’ latest romantic novel! The same foolery can be applied to drinks, with you creating your own spooky labels to place over the top of the existing ones.  Suddenly your innocent cranberry juice is transformed into the blood juice of a thousand spiders and your apple juice the remains of a billion crushed ants.Decorate your home for Halloween
  4. Make sure your lighting creates the right mood.  Keep it dim so there is an air of mystery. Tape cut out bat shapes to the inside of your lamp shades. Light some white candles with “blood” dripping down them.  To do this simply put some white candles over a towel or paper towel and light a red candle over them until you’ve dripped enough wax over it to make it look like fake blood is oozing down the sides.  Add plastic spiders to the outside of your lampshades and of course have some candle filled carved pumpkins to add a spooky orange glow.Decorate your home for Halloween
  5. If you have a daughter that won’t notice a beheaded doll or two, then decapitating Baby Anabell (other doll brands are available and are probably cheaper!) then adding her head to a jar is another spooky idea.  If you do not have access to such dolls, visit charity shops and collect different shaped sizes of heads to fill your jars.  Place these around your home for a creepy feel.Decorate your home for Halloween

Fiendish Food:

  1. Bloody Hot Dog FingersDecorate your home for HalloweenThese freaky fingers are really easy to make.  Just use a knife to score out the finger nail. (Be careful not to be too heavy handed.) Then lightly cut the knuckles into the sausage to create a more convincing finger.  Place in bun and splatter with blood… well, ketchup.
  2. Banana Ghosts and Pumpkin OrangesDecorate your home for HalloweenReally simple but very effective.  Cut your bananas in half and create ghost faces with black icing.  For the pumpkins, peel your tangerines and chop up a spring onion to use as the pumpkin stem.  Voila… easy, healthy, spooky snack.
  3. Skeleton RibsDecorate your home for HalloweenFor this, you simply need a rectangular dish on which to arrange your ribs and sausages.  Cover in a runny barbecue sauce to create the image of intestines and place a skull at the top of the dish. Easy peasy.
  4. Pumpkin dip platterDecorate your home for HalloweenSimply slice the top off a pumpkin and scoop out the insides.  Fill with a dip of your choice and serve with crudites.
  5. Fruity PumpkinDecorate your home for HalloweenArrange tangerine pieces on a circular plate and use strawberries, grapes, blueberries or whatever you fancy to create the face of a pumpkin.


Happy Halloween

Why you need a modern letterbox?

modern letterbox

Why you need a modern letterbox?

In 1923, it was made compulsory to have a letterbox to ensure Royal Mail could deliver mail to every house in Britain.  Back then most front doors in Britain had a simple slot with a flap in their door.  This is where the post could be delivered every morning.  However, these simple slots are not really the best option on the market anymore. There are lots of modern letterboxes out there for you to choose from that are far more practical as well as decorative.

modern letterbox


Reasons why we should replace our ‘simple slot’ letterboxes:

For one, a simple slot letterbox lets in an awful draft. If you purchase one with a draught excluder fitted to the back then you run the risk of making your postie hate you!  With a draught excluder, it’s not just a simple case of pushing the letter through.  Most flimsy paper letters we receive are not sturdy enough to push through a draught excluder.  So they just end up being crumpled and stuck between the slot and the draught excluder. That is unless your postie tries to help the letter make its way through the draught excluder … but that involves your postie having to risk his or her own fingers by pushing your letter through the letterbox to make a gap in the draught excluder  to help the flimsy letter break its way through.  In worse case scenarios this can lead to your mail being covered in blood from a severed digit.  Not to mention you having to fish a couple of fingertips out of your pile of bills!

Secondly, if you own a pet, namely dogs (lets be fair your goldfish isn’t likely to have a munch on your latest postal delivery), you may consider a different style lettrebox.   Coming home to a greeting of scattered chewed up bill confetti isn’t much fun.   Frankly the simple slot just isn’t good enough to keep your post away from inquisitive canine mouths.

Lastly, simple slots aren’t all that pretty and why settle for that when there are so many aesthetically pleasing styles and shapes of letterboxes to choose from?

modern letterbox

So what Kind of modern letterbox should you replace your ‘simple slot’ with?

There are a whole host of letterbox designs that can be attached to your wall, gate or fence.   You can even choose  stand-alone letterboxes or American mailbox style letterboxes, that can keep your post dry and secure while adding a unique feature to the outside of your house.  This may also get you brownie points with your postie, as it will save his or her legs from having to walk up your garden path.

modern letterbox

Whatever type of letter box you choose, you can also choose a style to fit in with the look and period of your home, with letterboxes coming in Georgian, Edwardian, Modern and ultra-modern styles to name but a few.

modern letterbox

Also, with the rise of online shopping and people preferring to have their purchases delivered straight to their front door, larger letterboxes have become popular so that small parcels and newspapers can also be stored safely until you return home.

There are legal requirements that you have to adhere to though, so your creativity can’t run too wild.  Letterboxes should have an aperture at least 250mm by 38mm, and should ideally be positioned 1.07m from the ground (according to Royal Mail Customer Service).

What if you can’t bare to part with your simple slot for a modern letterbox?

But if you really can’t bare to part with your draughty simple slot then an option for those of you wanting to protect your mail from your darling pooch, is a letter cage.  These can be simply attached to the back of your slot to catch your mail and keep it safe until you come home.

modern letterbox

All letterboxes featured in this blog plus many more  can be found at https://www.housenameplate.co.uk/letterboxes.html

modern letterbox

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

Below are 25 funny quotes for mums all us mums can relate to.   If life wasn’t hard enough as a parent, nowadays we also have the added pressure to come across as clever, inspirational, beautiful and witty on social media accounts such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, etc (whilst hiding the fact we are up to our elbows in dirty nappies and haven’t washed our hair in weeks.) But never fear, here is a bank of quotes/ memes/ signs I’m sure all us mum’s can relate to, for you to amuse your social media friends with:

1. Momster (noun):                                                                                                                                    25 Funny Quotes for Mums

2. Toddler sign can be purchased from  https://www.housenameplate.co.uk/slate-hanging-sign-toddler-a-great-present.html

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:3.  Mom’s often start the day feeling like this…and end the day feeling like this

25 Funny Quotes for Mums

4.  All these mom’s are on Pinterest making their own soap and reindeer shaped treats and I’m all like ‘I took a shower and kept the kids alive’                                         25 Funny Quotes for Mums5.  Mom’s are like…thank you lord it’s bedtime

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

6.  Mom fact #482 – If you combine wine and dinner the new word is ‘winner’

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

7.  First child eats dirt. Parent calls doctor. Second child eats dirt. Parent cleans out mouth. Third child eats dirt. Parent wonders if she really needs to feed him lunch.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

8. How do I put this? You will never ‘sleep in’ again.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:9. When I buy stuff for me. When I buy stuff for the kids.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

10. Silence is golden… unless you have kids, then silence is just suspicious.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

11. Your children while they clean their room: 1% cleaning, 30% complaining, 69% playing with stuff they just found.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

12. ‘Beware of the kids’ (£9.99 http://www.housenameplate.co.uk/family-friends-signs.html?p=3)

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

13. When my child asks for snack 5 minutes after not eating their dinner.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

14… and then the little girl stayed in bed like she was supposed to, so the monsters wouldn’t eat her. The end!

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

15.  Me: stay in your own bed tonight, ok? 3 yr old: ok mommy I promise. 3.00am:

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

16.  How it looks: How it feels:

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

17.  That dreaded moment when you put down a sleeping baby and your hand is trapped under him and you would rather saw your arm off than risk waking him.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

18.  Want kids to behave on road trips? Bring a bag of candy. Anytime they misbehave throw a piece of candy out of the window.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:


19.  First week of school: sandwich cut in a cute shape, sliced fruit, encouraging note. Last week of school: handful of croutons wrapped in foil.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

20.  My apologies if there is a shortage of scotch tape in the world. My toddler needed to tape a piece of paper for no reason.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

21. You want to know what’s under your kid’s car seat? You can’t handle what’s under your kid’s car seat!!

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

22. Now they’ve invented a pregnancy test with a curved handle so you don’t get pee on your hand. Listen, if you aren’t ready to get pee on your hand… you’re definitely not ready for motherhood.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

23.  Husband: how were the kids today? Me:

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:24.  Bathroom break. They will find you.

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:25.  I’m afraid you have what’s known as “children.”

25 Funny Quotes for Mums:

How to Choose a Business Sign:

How to Choose a Business Sign?

How to choose a business sign that will get your company noticed is no mean feat.  One of the most obvious ways to ensure your business is noticed and not forgotten is in the name you choose to call your business.  The chances are that you will not be the only person running a business in your particular trade, therefore you need to stand out from the crowd.  Below are a  selection of hilarious business names that one way or another are not likely to be forgotten and will make regular business signs seem dull and boring.

Choosing a Business name:

Just like these businesses, you can use popular film, television, literature, music titles, puns or just completely unique names for your business to grab the attention of the general public and potential customers.

  1. Indiana Bones: Temple of Groom – doggy day care for your action hero pooch:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  2. Yahpoo Plumbing – search no further for all your plumbing needs:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  3. Tequila Mockingbird – alcohol for the literary academics:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  4. Wok and Roll… we all love a good wok show:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  5. Del Boy’s diner: Only food and SaucesHow to Choose a Business Sign:
  6. Pubby McPubface…does what it says on the tin:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  7. Curl, up and dye – this hairdressers lacks a certain charm but it’s non-the-less witty:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  8. This fishing store surely didn’t think this through?How to Choose a Business Sign:
  9. This steel erector blowing his own trumpet…How to Choose a Business Sign:
  10. Well that’s one way to ensure continuous business:How to Choose a Business Sign:

Business Sign Adverts :

If you don’t want to be too adventurous or unique with your business name then you can still use business signs to catch the attention of the general public.  Advertising your business with a witty sign is a great marketing idea.  Below are a list of funny business signs designed to catch the attention of the general public:

Funny Business Signs to entice customers in:

  1. Nobody wants to stumble across bears…How to Choose a Business Sign:
  2. Harley Davidson helping husbands get divorced since 1903:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  3. Daycare that keeps everybody happy:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  4. Make sure you read the small print:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  5. When life throws philosophical questions at you:How to Choose a Business Sign:

Funny Business Signs:

Some business signs can be eyecatching and witty without you even realising it, but at least they will still gain you the attention your business needs!

  1. For those times when a phone call, email or text message just won’t cut the mustard:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  2. Hmmm…’fast’ is in the eye of the beholder:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  3. In a world where there is no common sense:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  4. Protecting your business from mishaps:How to Choose a Business Sign:
  5. Do make sure that your business sign actually promotes your  skills though:How to Choose a Business Sign:

On a serious note:

Business signs serve as a silent salesperson for your business and are an essential component in your business’ marketing strategy.  Your sign should contain your logo to help reinforce your brand.  Signs should also be used to draw attention to promotions and offers.

Your exterior business sign should indicate who you are and what you do and because your exterior sign is visible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the effect of your sign is continuous and therefore needs to be right.

You can also use signs elsewhere topro mote your business.  Strategically placed billboards can grab the attention of passing motorists and pedestrians. The more people that see your business name the better, as people are far more likey to use the services of a business they have heard of before.  In order to help with this and get your business name out there,  you can also place magnetic signs on the side of your vehicle to serve as a form of mobile advertising.

List of signs you legally need to display and other helpful signs for your business premises:

As well as signs for advertising, branding and promotions, there are signs you legally have to display and signs that are purely helpful.

Signs to point out the location of toilets, reception areas, staff only areas are very helpful for your customers.  A range of these can be found at https://www.housenameplate.co.uk/business-signs.html. You can also get any legal signs you need to display, such as health and safety signs, no smoking signs, fire exits and danger signs.How to Choose a Business Sign:


10 House Names inspired by Literature

10 House Names inspired by Literature

Why compose a list of 10 house names inspired by literature?  Well naming your house can be quite an overwhelming task with so many names and ideas to choose from.  Your home is more than just a number so choosing a charming, cute or catchy house name  can make your property more appealing to future buyers.

I mean who doesn’t dream of retiring to Honeysuckle Cottage rather than 23 Church Street?  This is because many homeowners see a house name as a statement about themselves and their tastes.  So if you consider yourself an avid reader, then why not stimulate the imagination of prospective visitors or potential buyers before they have even seen your home, by choosing a name inspired by literature?

1. Pemberley

Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major pieces of literature, which portray the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century.  Most of Austen’s novels are set in pretty rural areas, resulting in her fictional locations being popular with house owners looking to name their pretty rural homes.

Pemberley is the fictional country estate owned by Fitzwilliam Darcy, the male protagonist in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. It is located near the fictional town of Lambton and is believed to have been inspired by Wentworth Woodhouse, one of the finest Georgian houses in England.

Pemberley as a house name symbolises wealth and success.  It is the perfect name for a homeowner wanting to govern their own piece of rural Britain.

Wentworth Woodhouse

2.  Thornfield Hall

Staying with Austen, but this time taking inspiration from the novel Jane Ayre, Thornfield Hall is the next house name inspired by literature in the list.  Being the home of the male romantic lead, Edward Fairfax Rochester, it carries an air of wealth, grandiose and success.

However, this is coupled with the gothic undertones associated with the novel.  Thornfield Hall is a large, isolated mansion with many unused rooms, symbolising Rochester’s loneliness and depression before he falls in love with Jane.  The grounds on the other hand are magnificent and provide peace to many of the novel’s troubled characters and are the setting for the novel’s happier scenes.

It is debated which real life home Thornfield Hall is based on, but Haddon Hall near Bakewell in Derbyshire, has been used by filmakers for some of the novel’s onscreen adaptations.

10 House Names inspired by Literature
Haddon Hall

3.  Manderley

It’s one of the most famous opening lines in literature: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”  From there, Daphne du Maurier turns the country estate of Manderley into one of the most important characters in this classic Gothic novel.  Manderley is filled with antiques, heirlooms and evil housekeepers but at its basic symbolic level, it embodies the past.

It is a huge, sprawling place where tradition and remembrance are all-important.  Manderley is a centuries-old estate, ruled by the de Winter family for generations but mainly it embodies the late Rebecca de Winter.  Rebecca herself is rebellious, mysterious and challenges polite society giving the name Manderley an enigmatically glamourous air.

Du Maurier is said to have based Manderley on her own splendourous home.

4. Thrushcross Grange

Bronte’s Wuthering Heights introduces us to two contrasting properties: Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights.  Thrushcross Grange is owned by the Lintons and is then inhabited by Lockwood.   In contrast to Wuthering Heights, which signifies Heathcliffe’s wild nature,  The Grange stands for manners and civility.  This is shown through setting, as the Heights sits exposed on a stormy hilltop, but The Grange is calm and protected down in the valley.

Thrushcross Grange is the house Catherine, Heathcliffe’s love interest,  aspires to socially.  This is the house that will make her a “lady.” It is a symbol of tamed, refined, civilised culture.  However, when Heathcliffe owns it, he chooses to rent it out due to his distate in formality.

When choosing a name for your home, Thrushcross Grange has far more positive connotations than the more recognisable Wuthering Heights.  Thrushcross Grange creates an image of a bird-filled country residence of someone wealthy rather than a haunted, unwelcoming residence of someone wild and untamed …but each to their own!

Bronte is said to have based Thrushcross Grange on Ponden Hall. It is a grade II listed building, less than two miles away from the picturesque Yorkshire town of Haworth, where the Brontë sisters grew up with their brother Branwell.

Ponden Hall

5. Twelve Oaks

In the novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Twelve Oaks is the plantation home of the Wilkes family and is named so after the twelve great oak trees that surround the family mansion in an almost perfect circle.

Twelve Oaks is described as a “beautiful white-columned house that crowned the hill like a Greek Temple.”    Mitchell modelled Twelve Oaks after an actual antebellum mansion located in the historic area of Covington, Georgia, hence  the true southern charm the home emits.

The actual home that was portrayed as Twelve Oaks in the film Gone with the Wind  has been renovated and is now open as a bed and breakfast in Covington, Georgia, thirty minutes east of Atlanta.

6. Brandy Hall

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s fictional universe of Middle-earth, the Brandybuck clan was a powerful Hobbit family.  On the eastern side of the Brandywine River they built their home, Brandy Hall.  Brandy Hall is a giant network of tunnels, and the people who live in it (the Bucklanders) practically form their own country.

But its not just Tolkien fans who could be inspired by this house name, ‘Brandy’ is delves from the word ‘Branda’, meaning ‘border,’ so if you live on the boundary you may take inspiration too.

7. Collinwood Mansion

So I’ve cheated a bit here, as the ‘Dark Shadows’ novels by Marylin Ross are actually based on a TV series, so Collinwood Mansion maybe isn’t quite inspired by literature but it does feature in numerous paperback novels so it made the list.

Built in 1795 by Joshua Collins, Collinwood has been home to the Collins family (and other sometimes unwelcome supernatural visitors) since it was built. The house is located near the town of Collinsport, Maine, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.   Almost every resident of the town is too scared to even drive by the house due to rumors and tales surrounding the house.

It has more than 40 rooms including a tower room and basement.  But to add even more gothic spookiness to the mansion, it has more than a few secret passageways and a room that is a gateway to a parallel timeline.  Heightening the spookiness even more is a stairway through time and one room that appears to be a playroom to some but nothing more than a linen closet to others.

So, if you own a gothic mansion or are a vampire or maybe just a fan of the supernatural, then taking inspiration from Collinswood maybe for you.

8. Villa Villekulla

On a far more lighthearted level,  you may prefer to take inspiration from the fictional home of Pippi Longstocking.  Villa Villekulla was the fun looking home of Pippi and her pet horse and monkey, Mr Nilsson.

The “real” house used in the popular TV series can be found in the leisure park “Kneippbyn” on the island of Gotland in Sweden.

10 House Names inspired by Literature
Villa Villekulla

9.  The Gables

Anne of Green Gables is a classic in the world of childrens literature.  Written in 1908 by  Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables harks back to a charmingly simpler time.

In reality, the Green Gables farm was owned by the MacNeill family, who were cousins of author Lucy Maud Montgomery. The farm’s name is derived from the rich dark green paint of the gables on the farmhouse. The main exterior walls of the farmhouse are painted white and the whole farm has a wholesome feel to it. From visiting the farm as a child, Montgomery drew romantic inspiration from the house and the surrounding area, including the “Haunted Woods”, “Lovers’ Lane”, and “Balsam Hollow.”

If you hanker after a time gone by and yearn for a more homely slower paced life or even if your home simply has some pretty gable ends, then taking inspiration from this is a good idea.

10 House Names inspired by Literature

10. Howard’s End

In the novel Howard’s End, the theme of ‘home’ is extremely important.  This is why the novel is named after the one stable place any of the characters can call home.  To some, houses are merely bricks and a good investment but to others, the dream of having their own home seems impossible.  Margaret, the protagonist yearns for a home to call her own and to feel a connection with. At the end of the novel, it seems it is her fate to inherit Howard’s End and her dream come true.  Therefore the house name Howard’s End resembles hope, new beginnings and indicates a real love of your home.


House Nameplates:

Once you have decided on a name be sure to take a look at www.housenameplate.co.uk to see their vast range of traditional and modern house nameplates. You can choose from a wide range of high quality materials, such as:

1. Solid Wood

2. Rustic Slate

3. Slate

4. Acrylic

5. Illuminated Acrylic

6. Brass

7. Aluminium

8. Portland Stone

9. Granite

10. Stainless Steel

11. Ceramic





11 interesting facts about coffee

11 interesting facts about coffee

Some of us can’t function without our daily dose of caffeine. But there are some really interesting things to know about your cup of coffee. Did you know…

#1 Coffee is a seed not a bean

Coffee is actually the pit from inside a cherry like fruit. It is called a bean because that’s what it resembles most.

#2 Johann Sebastian Bach wrote an opera about coffee

Yup. He wrote an opera called Coffee Cantata. Apparently he was a bit of a coffee enthusiast. Well, you’d have to be to write a whole opera about it wouldn’t you?

#3 In the world, coffee is the second most traded produce

The first is oil. That’s a pretty huge market though, right?

#4 It is possible to overdose on coffee

But don’t worry, you’d need to drink around 100 cups. (Please don’t do this)

#5 Brazil is the coffee capital of the world

Yup. Most of the worlds coffee is produced in Brazil. What other reason would you need to visit? I mean, it’s coffee.

#6 Caffeine will not help you sober up

Although there is evidence to suggest coffee can help reverse the affects of alcohol long term. Unfortunately it makes no difference whatsoever to a hangover.

#7 The first webcam recorded coffee

The first ever webcam, was placed near a coffee pot in Cambridge to let people know that it was empty.

#8 Drinking one cup of coffee increases blood flow

Research suggests that drinking one cup of coffee significantly increases blood flow.

#9 One of the most expensive coffee’s in the world is made from elephant poop

Yeah. You read that right. I’m going to leave it to you to find out which coffee that is. All part of the fun.

#10 25 million farmers rely on coffee

Across the world 25 million farmers rely on coffee as a means to live. That’s a lot of people.

#11 Coffee stays warmer when you add cream

I don’t know much about the science, but apparently this is the case. I imagine it has something to do with the thickness of it. Though I’m not sure.

#12 Theodore Rossevelt drank a gallon of coffee a day

He was the connoisseur of coffee. I would not recommend drinking a gallon of coffee. Not only would you get awful hallucinations but I imagine you wouldn’t sleep for like, a million years.


See our full range of products over at www.housenameplate.co.uk

Information Sources

Fact Slides
Good House Keeping



How to decorate your kids bedroom

How to decorate your kids bedroom

How to decorate your kids bedroom

It can be hard to know what it is your child would find comforting in their bedroom. One minute it could be the transformers, then a few weeks later it’s cars, then all of a sudden it’s Fortnite. Trends change, kids grow, but there are some things you can do to make your life easier, and your little one happy.


It’s really good to know what you’re dealing with. Take all measurements before you start, that way when you go out to collect bits and bobs, you know how much paint/wallpaper you need.

Have an idea of what sort of colour you want. Ask your child what colours they like, if they can of course. That way they won’t be disappointed if you get a colour they don’t like.


If you know that your child wants something specific, a feature wall with what they want might be a good idea. Though I would be inclined to go with a block paint colour, and decorate with stickers that can be easily taken off and the wall be repainted. Or, accessorise. Character cushions, rugs, toys and bedding are fairly cheap ways to add to a room. And the beauty is, you can swap and change to suit their needs.

How to decorate your kids bedroom

Think ahead

Plan for the future, neutral coloured bed frames, wardrobes, chests of drawers can all be dressed up with what surrounds them. And as your child’s taste evolves, you can rest easy knowing that what you have chosen will match anything you decide to change. Whites, greys and wood effects tend to be best.

Clear storage boxes or storage towers are always a good idea. For toys, even clothes and you won’t need to worry that they won’t match anything.

Shelving. Again, match to the frames and wardrobes. Shelves can be used for pretty much anything.


Think about bed location. Don’t put the bed directly under a window, the sun shining through into their eyes, or just on them in the summer months can be very uncomfortable.

Don’t put the bed next to a radiator. For obvious reasons. If you choose a metal bed frame, it could warm, and there’s always that really annoying gap that appears where you lose pillows and teddy bears and absolutely everything else that will fit.  Plus your child could get too hot.

Anti toppling devices for wardrobes and drawer sets. This will minimise the risk of injury to your child if they think they’re a bit of an Indiana Jones.

Latches on drawers to protect fingers.

Latches on windows to prevent them getting through and falling. A very extreme case, but it does happen.

Keep sockets covered, so that no little toys can be stuck in there. Or fingers for that matter. No one wants to be electrocuted.

How to decorate your kids bedroom

Don’t hang heavy mirrors and photos above your child’s head. Or anything that could potentially fall or be grabbed. If anything, a poster that won’t cause any injury would be best.


It’s up to you what you do with your child’s bedroom. But all I will say is don’t rush it. Take time to plan, and research. It always pays off.

See our full range of products here

How to puppy proof your garden

How to puppy proof your garden

How to puppy proof your garden

It is so important to get your garden to a point where your dog is not only safe from roads, but from things like plants, tools and weed killer. Here’s a list of some of the things you can do to puppy proof your garden.


A large breed dog, if it wanted to, could clear a 6 foot fence no problem. Breeds like Huskies, Boxers, Alsations etc are all able, if they wanted to, to do this. Keep your fences 6ft tall of higher to avoid any escape.

Not only should you look at the height of your fence, but you need to check lower down too. Your retriever breeds and spaniels are known to be diggers and could easily dig under a fence into the neighbours. You don’t want that. Chicken wire a couple of inches or so below the surface could help prevent such an escape.

They are very determined animals when they want to be, so a fence with no gaps between panels would be the best choice, made from good strong wood.

Raised Beds

Keep your beloved flowers and shrubs out of their way. To them, everything is an opportunity to dig up. I would advise raised beds or hanging baskets or even some sort of fencing to keep your pooch out.

How to puppy proof your garden

Breakable ornaments

Breeds like Boxers, Spaniels and Labradors are full to the brim of energy. When they get started, they don’t care what’s in their way. They will easily knock over a statue or two. So, solution? Move them out of the way, perhaps to the opposite side of the house.

How to puppy proof your garden

Gates with latches

For extra security, installing gates with strong latches are a must have. Bolts, padlocks or something that will keep your gate secure will be so beneficial. Providing you warn your family and visitors to close the gate on entry and exit.

You could even install a 2 step solution. Whereby you have 2 gates, one on the inside to get you through and the other on the outside. That way if your dog DOES get through, he is only been able to get through to between the 2 gates.

Avoid planting poisonous plants

If your dog ingests any of the following. You need to get advice from a vet. This is a list of some of the plants that are known to be poisonous to dogs. Courtesy of the Kennel Club. To be safe, don’t plant them, or if you know you have them already, get rid.

  • Aconitum
  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Asparagus fern
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil bulbs
  • Day lilies
  • Delphiniums
  • Foxgloves
  • Hemlock
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Laburnum
  • Lily of the valley
  • Lupins
  • Morning glory
  • Nightshade
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Sweet pea
  • Tulip bulbs
  • Umbrella plant
  • Wisteria
  • Yew

Tools and chemicals

Common sense, you would keep them out of the reach of your kids, so keep them away from your dogs. I an industrial environment, they would have to be kept in a locked container or cage. Make sure that wherever you put them, it is only you or another adult that can access them.

That goes fro weed killer, slug repellent etc because they are all deadly to dogs. A dog won’t distinguish between what is food and what isn’t, especially a young puppy.

How to puppy proof your garden
Vintage Engine Oil


If you know your dog is going to be outside for long periods of time. Make sure you give them plenty of shade in the summer months and if it gets too hot, just bring them in. Dogs can regulate their temperature up to a point. But then it becomes a life or death situation.

The same goes for winter. If they’re going to be outside, give them a warm place to shelter, blankets etc. But if it gets too cold, bring them in.


Protect the wildlife too. If you have nesting boxes, or bird tables in your garden, make sure you place them somewhere out of reach. We don’t want any accidents. After all, dogs can be extremely playful and not realise.

How to puppy proof your garden

Plenty of Toys

Boredom breakers, and plenty of toys to keep them occupied is a must. Go for chew toys, soft toys, rubber balls, larger tennis balls for larger breeds. If you really want to spoil them. How about a paddling pool? You won’t be able to keep them occupied indefinitely. But a good choice of toys will set them up for at least 10 minutes ha!

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Top tips for a stress free house move

Top tips for a stress free house move

Top tips for a stress free house move

In light of one of our very own staff members preparing to move house. I thought it would be a good idea to share some top tips for a stress free house move. Whether or not they work when put into practice is another story. But I like to think that someone, somewhere will take on board a point or two and make it work for them.

#1 De-clutter

If there is one thing I would recommend above everyone else, it would be this. When we moved into our first home together, we moved absolutely everything. Down to the last screw. And looking back, I would have done things much more differently.

We’ve been in four years now, and we are still spending hour upon hour de-cluttering. I just get the urge to go through everything and throw out stuff I havent used in the last 6 to 12 months.

I feel that if I had done this in the first place, I’d probably have had much more room. But no, the house, the loft and the garage are completely full to the brim. I fear my ceiling will cave in if we add anymore.

So yes, de-clutter, anything you can live without, get rid. Make a tip run, get your stuff on the Facebook market place, or donate to charity. You won’t look back. I promise.

#2 Lists

Now if you’re like me, you’ll make lists for everything. I am not exaggerating when I say I even have a list of lists I need to write.

Top tips for a stress free house move

Sad I know.

But seriously, it might be beneficial to you to make an inventory of what is in each of your rooms, so that when you come to box stuff up, you can mark them with a keyword of what’s in them. It will make life a million percent easier.

#3 Take your time

Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time. If you know you’re going to be moving house in the next 12 months, it will be a lot less hassle being able to do a bit here and there. You don’t want to be rushing around at the last minute and risk leaving something behind.


Time is a great tool if you use it properly. You might find that dedicating a wet Saturday or Sunday here and there will be majorly helpful to you. What else would you be doing otherwise? Time. Use it wisely.

#4 Ask for help

You might prefer to do it on your own as a family. But take any help that is offered, just make it clear that you’re in charge. If you find you are struggling, maybe with a tip run, you might be able to ask someone you know who has access to a van to come around and do a full load for you. Or a trailer even. Don’t be afraid to ask, the worse that could happen is that they say no. You’re neither better, nor worse off at that point.

#5 Hire a van

If you’re in a good place financially, it might be worth getting in touch with a local removals company. They will be able to offer you a van, for a day, or more if you need it. Making life a whole lot easier when it comes to actually moving things. Or again, for getting rid of some unwanted items.

#6 Get enough sleep and eat properly

If you are stressed, your digestive system will respond. And you could be faced with a plethora of unwanted stomach aches and pains. Eating properly, avoiding too many take away’s (easier sometimes I know) and getting plenty of water down you will help keep your body ticking over with energy and without risk of dehydration.

Sleep is also a really important factor. Without enough sleep you’ll be prone to irritability, you may become forgetful and you will just feel blergh. I’m not going to bore you with the science, just know that sleep is just as important as the move itself.

#7 Find time to relax

Again, it comes down to stress. Try and set time aside, to perhaps go for a walk or pop out for a meal or even take a few days r&r away from all the commotion. It will all still be there when you get back, but you’ll feel a lot fresher going back into it after being able to put it to the back of your mind for a day or two.

(Take a look at Mind’s guide on how to relax.)

Top tips for a stress free house move

#8 Pack your boxes wisely

It would be useful for you to get hold of some labels and what not. Make life easier for yourselves when it comes to unpacking by making a brief note of what is packed in every box. That way the boxes can be taken straight into their corresponding rooms and you’ll feel so much more organised.

Take it one step further and pack room by room. That way you’re not getting mixed up and you can tick ‘kitchen’ or ‘dining room’ off your list.

Be sure to leave your essentials until last though.

Top tips for a stress free house move
Moving Boxes

#9 A moving day survival kit

There will be some things that you will need with you, or that need to be accessible to you come moving day. Here’s a brief list of what you might want to include in your survival kit.

Top tips for a stress free house move
Survival Kit
  • Phone and charger
  • Car keys
  • House keys (both sets)
  • Mugs, Tea, coffee, milk, snacks
  • Important paper work
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Loo roll
  • Screw driver (electric and hand)
  • Wet wipes
  • Doggy bags and toys if you have a pooch

You can add or takeaway stuff on this list where you need to. But I think that’s a pretty universal list to start off with.

#10 Say goodbye and don’t look back

The time has come, and you’re about to leave your old house and lock up. It may be useful to take one last wander around, taking in the last however many years and making that last memory.

Top tips for a stress free house move
See you soon

You will have reasons for your move, so it shouldn’t be a particularly sad occasion. Think of the next chapter of your life, a fresh change and a fresh start. Don’t look back. And away you go.


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