Monday, 25 August 2014

I've decided to completely stop blogging until I am back from my summer holidays. 

Too often over these past few weeks I've sat down to blog and all I have wanted to post about are dogs haha, not a bad thing for me, but I don't want my other passions I blog about to get lost in all of it.

I've not really had chance to access the laptop recently, had little time to take photos and haven't even really wanted to blog, which is very unlike me. I've not filmed a youtube video in months, the whole "Charli Slims" feature has fizzled out and I'm a bit uninspired. 

I'm going to take a notebook and pen away with me, of course my camera and vlog camera and see if the mood takes me whilst I'm out there. 

Here's to a much needed few weeks away!

Ta ta for now... x

Hagrid, Dobby & Marley | Cardiff Dogs Home

Monday, 18 August 2014

Yesterday my friend, her boyfriend and myself went along to the dogs home for a good five hours!! We took many dogs out between us and had a fantastic time. Above is Dobby - fitting right in with my t-shirt, who we walked with Hagrid. Hagrid and Dobby share a special bromance and it's just heartwarming. They didn't arrive in the home together but somehow Hagrid and Dobby share a love like no other. Dobby was so timid when he first came into CDH but now walks confidently just taking a moment every now and again to check that Hagrid is near. 
On Saturday I took out Marley again. His energy never stops and he started to pull a little too much on the sleep lead for me. At one point just at the end of the lane he tried a little too hard to pull the lead out of my hand and it made me go back to the home pretty quickly. Now I want to make it clear that in no way was it aggression, Marley just wants to play, run and move. It was decided that we would put Marley on a harness and chain lead to deter him form pulling and he is now a different dog! I couldn't believe the difference in him. No pulling, walking calmer and I honestly felt like he felt less restricted with no lead around his neck. Marley has a fantastic "sit" for a treat and I truly believe that he wouldn't harm a fly. 

Also on Saturday I took Alfie out who is just at the home whilst his owner is in hospital.

Dobby is known for his ability to stop, drop and roll over for you to fuss his stomach out on walks!

These two I had a lovely long play with in the garden, I didn't have time to catch their name but they are only there over one night whilst their owner is away, they are back home in their usual beds now but I thought you would love the photo of them waiting for the ball!



Let's go to the beach... BEACH

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Last Monday Matt and I both had a day off and we decided to go for an adventure to one of the nearest beaches to us. Southerndown is a beautiful beach full of stones and places to explore. 

Nothing special about what I wore, my really old jeans which are now in the bin because they had a hole in them and one of my favourite jumpers a navy and white strip from h&m. This is pretty much my uniform outfit all the time which is something I hope to change as I get smaller and more confident. My Michael Kors and Fiorelli bag completed the outfit. 

However, I wanted to zoom in on the shoes. I didn't think I would like this trainer/dap trend but turns out since getting a pair from Dune at House of Fraser* I have rarely worn anything else. I got my usual size, but I would say get a size down as these seem pretty roomy and I wear them with insoles. These weren't that expensive either and actually House of Fraser stock loads of reasonably priced shoes from all sorts off brands. You may remember last year I bought a pair of wedges in the sale reduced from £90 to £15 from Bertie.

There is a whole area of an abandoned castle and gardens area which provided many things to photograph. I could have spammed this post with loads and loads of photos of flowers and stone walls but I thought better of myself. It would make a beautiful area for a photo shoot though.



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A day at Four Falls Walk, Brecon...

Monday, 11 August 2014

Last Sunday I did the most exercise I think I have ever done in one day, I felt like I was back on my Duke of Edinburgh (shudder!) trip! 

I was awake at 7:00am and went for a run with Matt, yes I don't know who I am either (although 3 runs this week-I'm basically a marathon runner, right?). We were out running (and walking) until about 8, got back showered and then made the decision to go up the mountains in Brecon and have a nice stroll.

I say stroll, it was a hike. Matt was also convinced that it would be a nice sunny day. I didn't wear a coat, cardigan or take an umbrella and I got soaked through, even wearing a carrier bag on my head at one point. But we had the best time, no phone signal so no interruptions just a few hours, just us laughing and joking about getting soaked and me falling up and down hills.

The coolest part was being able to stand behind a waterfall. The power of nature really hit home, it sounded like a train was going past really close... a sound that never let up. Plus I met a rabbit who wasn't scared of me walking right up to him! 

And yes that photo is of me not being impressed as I had just realised that the huge hill I had walked down, well I had to go back up it!

Have you ever been to Brecon?



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Walking Riley, The sensory Garden and Saffron has a home...

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Yesterday I took my friend Sophia and her sister Izzy to come walk with me! It's nice having company, they both love dogs and Sophia is waiting for the next induction so for now has joined the fundraising team...

Some of the dogs had already gone out and over to a fundraising meet and greet at pets at home and from what I saw of the photos they were loving all the fuss! We took out Riley, based on a decision of looking down the list and seeing who hadn't gone out and speaking to Susie! 

Describing Riley as a gentle giant who loves walking like he's glued next to you had me sold and I couldn't wait to meet him. We were greeted by the most glossy coated Lurcher I have ever seen, just look at all the other photos of him here. Not to mention those gorgeous amber eyes.

Riley had just had the snip (ouchy) so we could only take him for a walk and not over to the meet and greet, but we made sure we walked him fairly far so he could stretch his muscular legs. Compared to Marley who I walked last week, Riley is so calm. He took everything in his stride and has come along leaps and bounds with walking on a lead compared to the first few posts I've read about him. Riley didn't even bat an eyelid at big buses and lorries. He has no sense of personal space though, leaning on you for comfort which is the cutest. 

When we got back a family had just come back from walking Marley and made the decision that he was too lively for them, so we all suggested they met Riley as he is a gentle giant and so calm. I'm not sure what happened with the meet but I'm hoping they loved him as much as we did! 

Biggest news of yesterday was that Saffron got taken home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I cannot tell you how happy I was to meet her new owners and be there when she got collected. It was an emotional moment saying goodbye, but we had 20mins in the garden running around and off she went! I'll miss her but she now has the home she deserves.

If you look back at the post I wrote two weeks ago you can really see the difference in her body condition, she gained weight, energy and I'm convinced she was even standing taller when I saw her yesterday. It's amazing what feeling safe can do for these dogs. 



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Being Blonde...

Saturday, 9 August 2014

 I do love being blonde, I have been a fair few times in my life, which often leads me to wonder how I still have hair on my head at times. The amount of bleach I have whacked on my head is ridiculous. As much as I love being blonde there is the general annoyance of the regrowth, especially as I have such dark roots. My hair isn't that dark naturally, I'm more of a mousey colour which I hate, however because I like my hair so light the regrowth looks even darker. 

I'd never dabbled in at home dye bleach before, I have done with dying my hair brown and my own ombre because somehow they are less scary?! But one month about 5 months back I couldn't afford to have my hair done in a salon or even by my mobile hair dresser so my friend Sophia and I hit the aisles of boots in the search for a more affordable solution to my root problem.

We came across this duo which looked like they would do the job, had everything I needed included (no need to buy a brush, mixing pots or gloves) and was fairly cheap. The first step was lightening my roots and for that I used the maximum lift blonding kit. I chose the maximum one as like I said my roots are pretty dark and this worked like a dream. As I was only applying this to my roots one box was enough, but if you were bleaching the whole of your hair I would suggest using two. After about 20 mins my roots had lightened to match the rest of my hair, a quick wash off and I was sorted. 

A couple of days later I decided to use the toner as my hair was looking a bit brassy. Another problem when it comes to being blonde! This is stupidly simple to use, covered my hair in the toner, waited and then washed out. As soon as I started to blow dry I noticed the difference in colour. I'm usually a bit weary of using toners as sometimes I don't see the difference in colour however with the B Blonde champagne coloured toner it was another story. My hair has a lovely soft almost pinkish hint and I love it. Every single signal sign of yellow has vanished and I have stocked up on a few more for when the colour needs topping up. 

Luckily enough a few weeks after using the B Blonde range the guys at Jerome Russell offered to send me some more for when my roots came through again so I have recently repeated the process! As long as I stay blonde I can't see me using any other products, I've been so impressed with the range (hence buying back ups already!)

Do you have any favourite products for blonde hair?



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My first official walk at Cardiff Dogs Home...

Friday, 8 August 2014

Soaked through, cold, muddy, tired, early morning... but SO HAPPY. Just look at my face.

On Saturday I had my first official walk at the dogs home, the first one where I could turn up at any time and "pick" who I walked. 

I turned up at 9:30, roped my mum in for the fresh air too, and by that point almost all the dogs had been walked (go team walkers!!) apart from the bundle of energy that is Marley. If anyone knows me at all you would know that I would walk any dog on the planet so I waited patiently outside for Michelle to bring him out.

Marley was also the first dog to use my own lead (yes I did love being able to shop in the dog section of pets at home!!) and boy did he make his mark on it. At times he was even taking me for a walk as he is so young it was almost like a "come on run with me lady" and made me laugh lots and lots. Although being as my mum only had normal shoes on we had to stop and wait for her a couple of times. I think Marley even got used to it and was started to look back for her at times, it always amazes me how quickly they seem to pick things up.

I'd just like to spend a paragraph talking very unashamedly about how beautiful Marley is. I know it's slightly materialistic to comment on how the dogs look as their personalities shine through enough to make you want them regardless of what they look like. However, he has the most beautiful brindle legs, thick coat, cheeky face and amazing husky tail. Stunning. Just look at the pictures on the forum to see for yourself. Unfortunately it was chucking it down with rain and my phone wasn't playing ball so I don't have the best photos of him. 

- Photo from the forum. 

Finally, I wanted to touch on something that my mum said whilst we were out walking and it links nicely to what I was writing in my last post about walking the dogs. The sentence my mum said was "It's amazing how he trusts you, walked off with us with no hesitation, it's like he knows you are here to help him" and boy did I almost blub! I looked down at this little pup and realised just how much their lives have been turned upside down by humans yet they look up to humans and they seem to know you are a "good egg" and here for them to have fun. Again it made me realise why I've always wanted to walk the dogs. 

That may sound really soppy and over the top, but it's genuinely how I feel. These dogs are simply amazing. Roll on tomorrow where I get to go and see Saffy, Marley and all the newbies at the home.

If you are considering getting a dog I would politely suggest looking at adoption. I would never ever force my views on someone around adoption and would never judge someone who bought from a breeder, but these dogs... well there are no words...



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Becoming a volunteer dog walker for Cardiff Dogs Home...

Monday, 4 August 2014
Last Sunday I had one of the best mornings of my life, I finally accomplished something that I have been so keen to do for many years - I have finally become a volunteer dog walker at Cardiff Dogs Home. Based in Penarth Cardiff Dogs Home takes in around 1200 stray dogs each year, at any one time there is around 40 dogs in the kennels - all loved dearly by the staff and volunteers.

Way back on January the 2nd I registered my interest to become a volunteer dog walker on the Friends of the Dogs forum. As I said it was something that I had wanted to do for years, I can't have a dog at the moment myself so this selfishly benefits me in that I can pretend for a couple of hours each week that I do have one. 

Our induction was so interesting, I was hooked on every word, listening to how the charity works and the background of the dogs home. Since the charity started 3 years ago they have not lost a single dog to space, yes I mean putting a healthy dog to sleep because there is no room for more. I can't even begin to tell you how happy that makes me as I was under the (very wrong) impression that after 7 days the dog gets put down. 

We learnt how to handle the dogs at the dogs home. As they are waiting for adoption you can't "train" them. Basically we are there to get the dogs out of the kennel, short of stopping any lead tugging and barking by distraction - you just entertain the dogs. For that walk you are the most important person in that dogs life - enjoy it. 

The charity has improved the dogs home so much from what it was. The kennels are old, but the facilities these dogs have access to are pretty amazing, there is a whole sensory garden where they can enjoy the freedom of being off the lead and there is even a fly running course being built soon!

After a two hour long induction in the sunshine and listening to the dogs barking (they could tell something was happening outside!) we finally got our walker numbers, leads and most importantly our first dog to walk. I partnered up with Cheryl and we stood excitedly outside waiting for our dog. 

 Out came Saffron (known to us now as Saffy) a leggy scruff bag, skinny, flakey skin and clearly neglected in a former life. We were instantly in love. There was something about Saffy that just emits this air of affection when she is around. I can't really describe it. We knew we would fall in love the moment we walked any dog, but this felt different. I'm sure everyone says it but this dog would have come home with me that day if I was in a position to adopt. Read more about her here

To be honest I can't quite put into words how much I want to be there 24/7 helping out and getting the dogs out of their kennels. It's made me really think about a lot of things. 
Some people may wonder what's the point of volunteering as you can't save every dog, but as I said before in that hour that you are with the dog
you are the most important person in their world and it's that thought that will keep me going back every single moment I can.