Blogger Bookclub: The two of us by Andy Jones

Monday, 27 July 2015

My first ever book club, ever! I rarely read, unless it's going back over my favourite series - Harry Potter and this had to change. I'd seen the girls posting about the book club and thought this would be a great way to get back into reading. This month was a book chosen by Leanne so I quickly downloaded in and settled down. 

The book is classed as a "chic lit" but it's written by a man, to be honest I couldn't tell - but having never really read any "chic lits" before.. I wouldn't know what I was comparing this to. 
So, I'm not sure how much detail I need to go into for a book review, do you rewrite the book? Do you just say "yeah I liked it?"... here it goes. 

The story is based around a couple, Ivy & Fisher, who haven't been together very long. You quickly learn, with some not so subtle hints, that they are going to be parents. It's this situation they find themselves in that is focused on in the story, but from the man's point of view - I guess this is the telling point that this was written by a man? There are many ups and downs throughout the pregnancy and I found myself smiling whilst reading on some occasions, there are some real hard points for them and you do really feel sorry for Fisher. 

I read the book in two days, that's two evenings of reading before going to bed. So this one wouldn't be a holiday one for me. I like to read long books where I can really loose myself in a book for days and days. As I mentioned before there are so many not so subtle hints that tell you whats going to happen and this sometimes annoyed me. I did however like the change from just reading social media in the evenings. Like I said, I've never really read these types of books before and I'm not that convinced they are the books for me. 

Have you read this book before? What did you think?

Don’t forget to check out LornaLizzie's and Leanne's posts to see what they thought of the book. 

Boots Haul

Monday, 20 July 2015

Here's the run down of what I've recently been purchasing in Boots. 

I picked up another of the Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm. This is now my third pot of this, which is unusual in for me as I tend to be a bit of a product flirt and never remain loyal to things. I enjoy using this because you can really get lost in a facial massage and work the balm in to break down your makeup. I use this in the bath and then sit for a couple of minutes with a hot cloth on my face. 

I do not need any more lip products and after being high disappointed with this, I won't be making any more purchases. Time to use what I have! I've give this away now so I can even look to see what colour it was or the name of the product * off to google I go *. Google tells me it's the Loreal Paris Infallible Mega Gloss (£6.99) and I think I had the colour Hot for Hawaii. For me the colour just bled out over my lips and ended up looking awful. 

I've decided to get into my gel nails again so have purchased the base and topcoat from Sensationail, pots of gel from a salon in the UK and now this glitter also from Sensationail. I'd had a pretty crappy day when I went to boots for these so I was treating myself. I really like this colour, a subtle pink glitter that makes a nice top colour for most bases. 

Forever trying to break away from using foundation everyday has left me wanting to try every BB CC DD and whatever face products there are around. So now I am currently using the Nivea Daily Essentials BB Cream in light. I've actually had people complimenting my skin when I've been wearing this, so that can only be a good thing. Granted I've only started to wear this after having a fake tan, so I shall report back on how this wears when I am good and pale. 

Finally, a micellar water. Standard. 

It's not just dog walking...

Sunday, 12 July 2015
This weekend marked my one year "vol day" anniversary of volunteering at Cardiff Dogs home. 52 weeks of spending my Saturdays and sometimes Sundays at Cardiff Dogs Home. The only weekends I've had away from the place are when I've been on holiday or ill. I thought I would reflect on the past 12 months, what I've learnt and who I've met. 
My first walk was with a dog called Saffron (Read more here) she's a Lurcher who was picked up as a stray with another dog and came to the home so underweight she looked like she would snap in two! She spent just over a month at Cardiff Dogs Home. I knew from this moment on that I would put everything into the dogs that end up at Cardiff Dogs Home. 
Marley was the second dog I walked after my induction (Don't worry I won't post about every dog I've ever walked, tempting as it is!) he was a nutcase, completely different from Saffy and I still have my lead that he munched through. He was full of character and loved playing in the garden with the football. (Read more here).
Being part of the amazing volunteers means that you throw yourself into everything, for me this has included organising litter picks, taking part in dog shows & even fundraising bootcamps (spot me in the photo above!) and filming the dogs for the forum.
There is so much more to this than walking dogs and I don't even do half of what others do, there are so many parts you don't see to the charity, for example a spot at the local flea market which is run by some lovely ladies, ladies who boot sale every week and all the people who form the committee. 

Rather than talk about every single dog, I thought I would run through some dogs that really stand out in the last 12 months. I was pretty impressed with myself that when looking through photos for this post I could remember every single dogs name, something I never thought would happen, but not surprised it has happened.

People who I'm friends with on facebook, or follow my instagram will not be surprised that Harry is the dog I would talk about first. Harry was found as a stray in October 2014 who everyone described as silly. He is the only dog in the last 12 months that I can hand on heart say "I want him" and mean it. Luckily Harry's owners keep in touch with me and I've even visited him in his new home! Which was pretty emotional. Harry has something special about him, we instantly clicked and everyone know he was "mine". 
When I visited Harry in his home I was completely overwhelmed. He greeted me like an old friend, jumping up and throwing his arms around me, he plays with loads of other dogs, enjoys mountain treks and is just generally loving life. 
Meet Sadie, aka "Sadie Socks" who, after a long stay at Cardiff Dogs Home is now loving life in a rescue home. Sadie was one of the first "difficult dogs" that I walked, saying that it was nothing like aggression what so ever, she just like to walk in circles and spin up her lead. However taking tips from the experienced I soon built up courage to walk her and ended up falling a little bit in love. 
Storm, oh Storm, he was the first dog to make me cry, and when I say cry I mean sob. Storm was surrendered at CDH and I will leave the story there because I don't want to make this post about the people who leave dogs. Anyway, he looked so old and was full of arthritis, yet he was only about 2/3, shocking. We took him into the vet room to get to know him a bit and he had actual tears running from his eyes. This is the reality of signing a dog over, they don't know where they are, they don't know what they've done to deserve this, yet they still show love and acceptance to who they are around. As you can see from his forum write up, I took my boots off and chilled out on the floor with him.
Quite often when I check the forum I spy a dog and think "you, yes you are just beautiful and you are my favourite", a little silly perhaps, but sometimes you just *know*. That's what happened with Troy and we spent a few days having wonderful walks and dips in the pool. Sadly Troy didn't get the chance to find a home as a very serious incident left the amazing staff at CDH to be left with no other decision that to put him to sleep. I won't lie and say that I was OK with that, I was heartbroken, but I understood the reasoning and agreed with it. I have a huge amount of anger towards the people that previously had Troy, their actions towards him resulted in a waste of his life. 
This is Molly who was just so funny, very kennel stressed the poor thing but so awesome on walks and in the garden, she's just stuck in my mind ever since I met her. Currently she's up for adoption at The Dogs Trust I believe. 
Mia, name chosen because of "Mama Mia", found straying and heavily pregnant at the beginning of December last year so soon became a hit with everyone. Despite looking like she swallowed a beachball and was clearly uncomfortable, Mia loved to cuddle in her birthing box. I spent hours sat in there with her, as did many volunteers where she loved to have the belly scratched. Her personality never faltered even in the last stages of her pregnancy. Her son Joseph will make an appearance later on in this post. It goes without saying that a dog with this much personality is now in her forever home.
I first met Brinny on one of the Saturdays where we held a meet up at Pets At Home, we spent the day raising awareness for the charity and Brinny spent the day curled up on my lap, she was just beautiful.
Meet Rosie, who is one of my favourite staffies I have ever ever met. Aside from her glorious good looks, her personality was spot on. Fantastic with people, around other dogs and on the lead. 
Blue went to his home yesterday and he's gone to live with a beautiful Rottie! He came into Cardiff Dogs Home with a horrible skin condition but with love and some medicated baths he soon looked better. His personality was spot on and so funny when he would get all stubborn on his walk and just sit down until you went where he wanted to go. 
Star was an amazing little dog and not one that would usually be the breed I would fall for, but she had that sparkle in her eye and I had some great fun with her. You'll have to click her thread to read what happened with Star, because it's too upsetting to type out again. 
Chuck is now living it up with a fellow blogger and now friend! I won't post too much because you will have to read her blog post for that, but he's a deaf American Bulldog and is just scrummy. I left plenty of kisses on him when I saw him a couple of weeks ago. 
GREYHOUNDS...!! This is Ruby, who has now found her home, but there are still three who havent. Recently CDH took in 5 ex-racers and they are all just beautiful. I've fallen in love and not just because they are my favourite breed of dog. 


There is a constant stream of puppies at the dogs home, which naturally go really quickly. Ranging from ones that were born in the pound (like Mia's pup Joseph in the last photo) to being surrendered, they never stay this small. The reality is that a puppy no longer looks like a puppy after a few months and the amount that are bought back when they are bigger is really sad. Whilst no one can deny that puppy cuddles make you smile, it's always tainted with that little bit of sadness. Puppies are far too needy for my liking and I'd much prefer an OAP dog.! 

Still needing homes

Meet the stunningly beautiful Amelia, a larger crossed breed, but she has the most amazing eyes and she even smiles at you. I really like Amelia and would love to see her in a home ASAP, she's been in kennels far too long for such an amazing dog. 

The same goes for Lola, she's a larger cross breed but she's so friendly and loves other dogs! Have a read of her forum and see if you know someone who would be perfect for her. 


This Saturday I spent the day with that little old man Alf, he's currently being fostered by an amazing volunteer as he is so shut down it's truly heartbreaking. He had to come back for the night so I spent all day monitoring him, walking him, making sure he ate and everything basically. I created a video on my youtube channel of our day too! Watch it here! Like I said before, it's not just dog walking.

I've made some really good friends over the past year, where we all have a mutual love for dogs and would do anything for them, group walks are my favourite as the dogs can be around other dogs, the vols can chat and it gets some really great footage for videos to show off the dog personalities. 

I've recently started making a kong up for every dog in the pound on Saturdays, sometimes even freezing them so they last longer. Putting them in the kennels and hearing every dog chomp away on them is really rewarding. Other volunteers do this throughout the week too, with stuffed hooves and all sorts. There is a general view that the pound isn't the best place for dogs, but they are warm, fed, walked and loved whilst they are there by so many people. 

I didn't write this post to say "look at me, look what I do" but to just show you just how much of a difference even the smallest of efforts make. You can changes animals and even peoples lives by volunteering so I really encourage you to look into it. 

An evening with Paul Mitchell & New CID

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Could you ask for a better view for an evening blog event? I don't think so, just look how amazing Cardiff Bay looks like from the balcony of the St David's Hotel. We spent the evening with Paul Mitchell and their new Big Night Out sets (who I keep calling Phil Mitchell !!) and New CID where we were treated to awesome hair styles and makeup tutorials. 

Again it was a lovely time catching up with some favourite Cardiff based bloggers Stef & Alice, just look at the hairstyles we were treated to! I loved my little bow with the waterfall braids and think this will be the perfect hairstyle to wear to weddings that I have coming up next month. Who wouldn't love the biggest bow I have ever seen on Alice and Stef's flower is just perfect. 

We were so spoilt with the goodie bags too so I have loads of reviews coming up, I'm too excited over the rose gold brush! 

An evening with John Lewis & GHD

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Last week I couldn't wait to finish work and head to John Lewis for the GHD Platinum Styler event. John Lewis always put on a great evening and after stuffing my face and catching up with Stef and Alice we sat down to learn more about the new styler. 

I didn't think GHD could get any better, I've always used their straighteners and other brands that I've tried just haven't been up to the same standard. However, they have developed their straighteners into some sort of super incredible styling tool. The main change in these straighteners is they have increased the number of heating sensors in the plates. In the gold style straighteners which I have there is only one sensor, however the Platinum Stylers now have three sensors in each plate. This means that there is less fluctuation in the temperature which speeds up the hair styling and minimises damage to your hair. 

Sometimes my straighteners get so hot that I can't even touch the outside and with the new stylers they have solved this problem by using NASA technology on the outside of the stylers - fancy. 

We got to try out curling our hair with the stylers for ourselves, something which I am a total novice at - I always end up using curlers. My main problem is I've recently had a lot cut off my hair because it wasn't growing. Over the last three years my hair a snapped off so much that it's just got shorter and shorter so I've decided to start again. I explained my worries about looking like a poodle to Matt the stylist and he set to work creating the above look - which I love!! The biggest tips he gave were to pull the curl down with the styler and then brush the curls out - don't use your fingers... just go for it! 

I even ended up creating the curls on Stef's hair and despite being ill she still managed to look like a total babe.