Friday 28 February 2014

13 ways you know you own a giant breed dog.

140109 Playtime

When you've lived with a giant breed like a Newfoundland for a while it's hard to remember what life was like before. (I know it's hard to believe but this year I've had Newfies for 20 years - clearly I was a toddler when Newfie #1 arrived!).  So for those of you who are thinking of going for a giant breed, or just curious about what it's like to live with some (you can't have just one) then read on... 

1. You have a car far larger than you could ever possibly want if you didn’t have your dogs. I drive a Citroen Nemo (it’s a people carrier) and the rear seats are permanently folded flat for maximum Newfy arse space.


2. Slobber on the ceiling. 

130109 Twice the Trouble

3. The biggest extending dog lead on the market still isn’t really big enough. The strain of a dog bigger than the largest quoted size makes these £40 babies last about 3 months. That and the sea water. 


4. It’s tricky to find a collar big enough for your dog - this is made even trickier if your giant breed is of the coated variety. 

5. Little muddy footprints on the kitchen floor after a walk or a jaunt into the garden is just a dream. Giant feet means giant footprints. Yeti style.


6. Inviting your furry friend onto the sofa is a considered activity. Ask yourself if you actually want to have space on the sofa? Or if you’d like 10st+ of dog laying on your lap? Or if you want to still be able to breath? Or see the TV?

7. Giant breeds love to help out around the house. Most of them reside in the Working Group for a reason after all.  You can almost always guarantee that there will be a big furry carcass helpfully lying in front of stuff you need to get to. The oven, the fridge, your doors, the toilet. You get the gist.

3/365/2013 Martha

8. Everyone at your vet practice knows you by your first name. And they seem to have suspiciously fancy cars. And houses. You also qualify for a bulk purchase discount.

9. Children run screaming towards and away from you in equal measures. The line between Grizzly Bear and Teddy Bear is a fine one. 

Knowlton Church

10. You feel a little bit like you are a featured attraction at most outdoor events/spaces. It’s a regular occurrence to turn round to see a whole line of spectators and photographers ogling and snapping merrily away.

11. Nothing on a work surface or table is safe. And not because your dog puts their feet up on stuff. They don’t need to. They can just reach. 

11/365 2011 Heavy Head

12. You don’t have a coffee table. Huge tails and hot beverages perching on low tables in the middle of the room do not mix.

13. You know for sure that you’re the luckiest owner in the world. Giant dogs  = giant amounts of love and loyalty. And the biggest kisses too.

300709 Greeting

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Colour Inspiration #5 - Happy Daffs

There's just something really uplifting about daffs. Their sunny smily faces bobbing about in the breeze can't fail but to cheer the spirits. This week's colour palette is just as happy... perfect for a springtime themed scrapbook page, getting organised with a Mother's day card, a wonderful choice for an upcycling project or just for getting a splash of colour into your outfit of the day!

If you get inspired to create using my colour inspiration this week, I'd love to see what you get up to! Leave me a comment below and I'll pop over and take a look!

Monday 24 February 2014

An incredibly coordinated bathtime.

Running my bath the other day I spotted an unintentional trend among my current crop of products perching on the side of my bathtub. There was a definite red theme going on that was begging to be Instagrammed. (Disclaimer - I don't have my phone in the bathroom usually!).

First up is the Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash. It has quite an spicy/earthy scent with tones of Bergamot and geranium - it reminds me a bit of Re-charge Black Pepper from Molton Brown in that respect. This is a sample size that came in a Beauty Box but it's probably not something I'd necessarily buy as my go-to scent for bubble bath/body wash is usually something a bit more fresh and citrussy.

Next is my current bubble bath - officially this Original Source Vanilla and Raspberry Milk is a body wash but like all the Original Source gels/body washes it foams up quite nicely so definitely does the job. I should say that you don't get the same hit of aroma when it's been used as a bubble bath so you'll definitely appreciate popping a bit on a body puff too to get the most from it! One of the things I like most about these Original Source washes is that you can definitely pick out the scents - sometimes aromas are nice enough but not necessarily identifiable with what's on the label!

Hair next! I'm currently rocking a trifecta of Tresemme products with the proKeratin Smooth, Keratin Restoring shampoo, conditioner and deep treatment masque. It's almost unheard of for me to use a full set of anything, but I picked these up with a 3 for 2 many, many months ago and I've really got along with them and I've now replenished them a few times. I tend to alternate between using the conditioner and the masque and it really does smooth your hair! I also use the excellent matching heat protect spray before I straighten my hair so you could say I'm a fan of the range.

L'oreal Skin Perfection - Soothing Gel-cream Wash - This is unscented and seems to do a nice job of cleansing and removing makeup  - I only use this one in the bath as I like to use a swipe off cleanser and a toner after removing my makeup with Bioderma on other occasions.

The only thing missing from my usual mix is my Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub and that's only because it lives at the other end of the bath - weirdly that also fits my unintentional colour scheme! I might be the only person in the world that isn't blown away by that classic Soap and Glory scent, in fact the bath cream/wash makes me a bit queasy! I do like this scrub, but I'm not loyal to it by any stretch of the imagination! I probably like the Body Shop ones more in fact with my all time favourite being Buffy - the moisturising body scrub bar from Lush!

What's on your current menu of bath time products?

Sunday 23 February 2014

Going coastal

It's no secret that I like to take a jaunt down the coast on the weekend, starting at Mudeford at Christchurch and usually ending at Lepe. I just love this trip as it's a wonderful combination of beach and New Forest - surely the best of both worlds. First stop is Mudeford and while an awful lot of the beach was washed away over the winter, the girls always enjoy a nice paddle just along from the dingy park.

It was well publicised in the media that this whole stretch of coastline was severely hammered by storms in the last couple of weeks with a great number of Beach Huts being destroyed and washed away. The dingy park was similarly battered with small vessels including those Laser class boats, the like of which you see at the Olympics, being tossed around like toys! 

The park is almost tidied now one notable exception being this upended catamaran!

Plus a whole selection of boats thrown up onto the grass by the high tide! It's fun for posing your Newfie by though!

At the far end of the journey is another beach - Lepe. With a country park up on top of the cliff it also has panoramic views of the Isle of Wight. Although on the face of it this area received less damage in the recent storms, there are indeed some pretty hefty trees up on the cliff top that have been uprooted, an extensive selection of flotsam and jetsam on the beach plus the cafe etc were totally flooded out - a little traumatising to miss out on post walk lunch!

Another change is the almost total lack of wooden boarding that once defined the border between the beach and the car park. (BTW Blue skies were Saturday and a lot less blue was Sunday!)

Admittedly the lack of something is quite hard to see in a picture, but despite that here's another!

And lastly a shot that might actually show what I mean! See the bit in the middle that is two planks high? That was all the way along a couple of weeks ago!

 And here's another section that fared a bit better! But only just!

 Suffice to say the beach car park is currently closed (I'm guessing to stop people accidentally (or otherwise) driving onto the beach! Of course that doesn't bother the girls - especially Martha who did a little bit of her own beach clean up by carting off a few branches...

What did you get up to this weekend?

Friday 21 February 2014

Glossy Box - Unboxing February's Box

I've been getting a monthly subscription beauty box or two for a few months now so I thought it might be nice to share the contents of my February Glossy Box. If you're not familiar with the concept here's how it works. Each box costs £10 plus P&P and inside you receive sample and full sizes of beauty products you may be familiar with or totally new brands for you to discover. Glossy Box offer reward points when you purchase a kit and also when you complete short online surveys - and give free boxes when you have enough points! There are also points to be had so let me know if you'd like an invite! ;)

The packaging for the boxes is lovely - a nice printed and often themed sturdy box that's perfect for storing all sorts of products and nick nacks once you've unpacked. Once you open the lid you're greater by more lovely presentation - delicate tissue paper and a big opulent ribbon!

And inside are your goodies! There's a card telling you all about your products and a decent enough mini-mag to peruse! Now onto the contents!

The cornerstone of a beauty box and a safe bet is a nice new lippy. This is one of the new Colour Sensational - Stripped Nude Lipsticks from Maybelline.

As you can see this one is shade 710 - Sultry Sand and it's a little bit lighter than I'd normally pick up, but it's something different that I think could be nice in the spring. It went on nice and seems quite moisturing. At £6.99 RRP it's a nice start to this £10 box.

Here's the obligatory swatch!

Nougat London is a new brand to me and this shimmery body lotion which is described as leaving your skin 'luxuriously perfumed with a hint of sparkle' seems like it could be lovely for a night out - it's described about being perfect to use on your legs to create the illusion of them being longer - something I could do with some help with so can't wait for an opportunity to break the legs out!

Next up is a gorgeous orangey tinted red Ciate nail polish in the shade 'play date'. It's got a really springy vibe so if our 'wettest winter EVER' comes to an end anytime soon I'll be set! In fact maybe wearing it will magically bring Spring along all on it's own!  

Ciate polishes come in a cool shaped bottle that nestles happily in the crook of your thumb making applying it without spilling it a tad easier! I can't wait to get this bad boy on my nails!

Next it's confession time. I have NEVER used false eyelashes. And while it might take a while for me to come up with a fancy enough occasion to warrant these ones from Eldora, they are going to be a welcome addition to my stash 'just in case!' They look pretty natural as lashes go so I'm game to give them a go!

I always like haircare items in a beauty box and while these ones are likely to only contain enough to use on a single occasion (although I am notoriously mean with amounts so might well eke it out to a couple!) but it's normally a type of item that I like. Depending on the type of hair you have (you can let Glossy Box know in their online survey before you get your first box), you may get a different option. The card in my box said that the possible options were for either the Giovanni Eco Chic Cosmetics in Ultra-Moist or Ultra-Sleek versions and as someone who likes to straighten my hair, I was happy to receive the Ultra-Sleek option. The blurb tells me it contains all natural ingredients including Moroccan Argan Oil, avocado and papaya. Lovely!

Last but not least is the added treat for this month's box. This doesn't happen every month, but when it does it's a welcome addition. In fact a past 'extra' was some fruity tea samples that set me on the road to obsession as per my recent 'favourites' post. This month it's a delicious Lindor Treat Bar.  If you've ever had those little Lindor balls you'll be familar with the taste of this yummy treat. I'd love to show you the cute little segmented sections or the slightly gooey centre, but while I was charging my camera I accidentally ate it someone ate it. Soz. But they tell me it was good. Really good.

I hope you've enjoyed this peek at the contents of my Glossy Box. I'll be sure to come back and update on how I found the contents performed after a proper testing. Except the chocolate. Obviously.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Colour Inspiration #4 - Perfect Pebbles

In time for a bit of visual inspiration! This weeks' Colour Inspiration comes courtesy of a snap taken on gorgeous Chesil Beach at Weymouth. The tones of the stones are just gorgeous and they are even better in real like as they are all perfectly smooth too! I'm thinking I should collect a few to decorate!

Chesil Beach is a wonderful shingle spit that joins Weymouth to the Isle of Portland and consequently has sea on both sides. It might look familiar as Weymouth and Portland were the home of the sailing events during London 2012 and the beach looks pretty amazing from a distance too. From the cliff top at Portland you get this amazing view.

And just a couple of paces further back you'll see this beautiful leftover of the games, all in wonderful Portland stone.

I hope my colour combo gets you excited to create, whatever your crafty poison! Please do leave me a comment with a link to your blog etc if you are inspired to create, I'd love to see what you are up to!

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Monday 10 February 2014


Monday's will never be the same again! Well... they'll be similar, but with one subtle but fantastic difference. Today is the inaugural #docraftsmonday and in celebration I've been crafting with some products that you've probably never seen before - that's because they're not out till March!

On the left is the newest incarnation of the Papermania Capsule Collection - Oyster Blush and on the right is another new Papermania collection called Bellisima. Both are super pretty so it's hard to choose between them!

If you're been crafting recently you can get involved with #docraftsmonday too. Take a pic and share it on your favourite social media platform. Add the hashtag '#docraftsmonday' on facebook, twitter, and instagram and you're in! On twitter be sure to tag docrafts by adding @docraftsteam to your tweet, and on facebook tag @officialdocraftspage so we can all see what you've been up to! It doesn't matter what sort of craft you've been doing, be it papercraft, home decor, sewing, baking or anything else!

I'll be keeping an eye out for the #docraftsmonday tag so will check in on as many of your crafty endeavours as possible!

Current and January Favourites - Things I'm Loving Right Now!

I've never done a blog post like this, but I've recently been watching a whole lot of You Tube recently ad this seems to be 'the done thing' among vloggers, so why not cross it over to a regular blog? So here goes with my first ever January Current Favourites! While most of the favourites vids you see on You Tube are almost wholly beauty related, as expected mine is a bit more eclectic and decidedly less 'high end'!

First up is this Carmex lip balm - even though we've not had a huge amount of cold dry weather so far this winter, I find myself on more than my fair share of sand blasted, wind swept beaches and cliff tops and chapping of the lips is a definite problem! I have quite a few lip balms and this is definitely the best for me at the moment. It's not too creamy or greasy and moisturises without being oily and sticky. Best of all it's only £2.69!

Next favourite is my Fitbit! I won't bore you again with my saga of how much I love this, but if you want to read more than go here! Suffice to say it's been a favourite for a while (since June) but I can't resist putting it into my first post of this type!

 Next up are a pair of sunglasses. I'm a big sunglasses fan, but REALLY can't be trusted with fancy designer versions - I've lost count of the number of pairs I've either sat on while they were in my back pocket, or knocked on the driveway and then driven over, or lost in the sea..... you get the picture. So when Primark roll out their sunglasses at this time of year, I go to town!

I bought some classic faux Aviator Ray Bans as well as some black faux Wayfarers plus my favourites at the moment these white 'faux-farers'! Lots of fun and just the thing to get me in the mood for Spring! I'm pretty sure they were each a single solitary quid. One. Uno.

Favourite crafty thing of the month has to be these mini typewriter style alpha stickers from Papermania. They're in the Madame Payraud collection and I literally can't craft without them. They're just £2.50 and I can't think of something I've crafted without them this month!

Next is a bargain sales purchase that I picked up from Cath Kidston in the new year. While the exact purse isn't available anymore there are a few similar ones that are still up for grabs - mine was reduced to just £3.50!! I also have a regular large Cath Kidston purse, but when I'm out without a bag it's too big to pop in a coat or jeans pocket so this is my sneaky solution. This zippy purse holds a couple of cards, but cash for car parks/emergencies and is perfect for when I'm out walking.

It's especially perfect as it slots perfectly into the breast pocket of my much beloved Rab PS Zip top.

 Next faves are the Revlon Lip Butters - I really love these for their moisturising feel and the great range of colours. I prefer the shades that are fairly near to natural lip colour (but better) with my favourites being Pink Truffle, Peach Parfait and Berry Smoothie. I find it quite hard to resist picking another one up every time I find myself in Boots!

Second to last is Fruit Tea! I've never liked coffee and have now pretty much given up tea too. For a while I drank hot water all on it's tod, but am not a total convert to fruit teas. I'm not a fan of anything herbal and despite the efforts of Emma I can't bring myself to enjoy green tea, but anything a bit more berryish (that's totally a word) is good with me. My favourite's have to be Berry Blitz with Echinacea from Morrisons and Sainsbury's Blackberry, Blueberry and Acai Berry infusion. Yummy and zero calories!

Last up is a You Tuber! Rosanna Pansino makes cool cakes and other treats each with a 'geeky' twist. Loving her Star Wars things especially and this Indian Jones - Monkey Brains pudding is awesome! Take a look - I'm sure you'll love her too!

I hope you've enjoyed my favourites for January - I'm hoping to make this a fairly regular thing so come back early Feb for another!

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Colour Inspiration #2 - Berry Tones

 It's time for another dose of colour inspiration, and today is all about berry tones. My picture was taken in the Autumn during a walk at Radipole Lakes RSPB reserve in Weymouth. I really love this little patch of the countryside nestling in the middle of the town. There are plenty of birds to observe and it's a great place for a short stroll too.

The pinks, purples and indigo shades really appeal to me, so much so I was inspired to paint a feature wall in my dining room using a gorgeous shade of 'Forest Fruits' from the Colours range from B&Q.

I'd just love to see if you use this as inspiration to get creative - whatever form that might take!

Leave me a comment below so I can come and visit your blog too!