Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Happy Pets Norwich - Harley's First Week

I have heard great things about Attila from Happy Pets Norwich, however, nothing compares to actually seeing firsthand does it. Having decided to go on a 6-week training course, called the progress class, which incorporates obedience training, tricks and an introduction to agility I wasn't expecting much from the first hour.

The classes are held with a maximum of four dogs, which is pretty good and gives you practically one on one training. From the get-go, Atilla knew how to handle each dog individually and picked up straight away that Harley's barking was excitement and frustration. This gave me instant trust in him, so many times people misunderstand her and just generally think she is either aggressive or naughty, when yes in actual fact she is just frustrated and/ or excitable.

"When the dog does something wrong, the HANDLER is to blame NOT the dog!"

A lot of the time when she gets frustrated it is due to me "the handler", a fact most dog owners do not want or like to grasp. I am not very coordinated and when it comes to twists and turns etc. I get confused and therefore do something wrong, for instance, we were asked to do some heel work but turn the dog. I couldn't grasp this and kept turning myself instead and kept laughing, so Harley being herself knowing I was not instructing her properly barked at me. Just to say "Oi Mum what are you doing!" Atilla picked this up, came over and showed me how to do it correctly and also how to calm her down in instances where she has wound herself up, mostly due to my mistakes!

One method is to lean them against your side and massage them, whilst also saying in a very calm soothing voice your command for being calm. Mine happens to be the word calm, however steady can work also. This worked instantly for Harley and her tail went from hyper to down and just at ease, I could feel her put all of her weight on my leg too. Supporting herself completely on me, which proved that she was entrusting herself to me.

Another method we learned for distraction which Harley can have issues with on walks and in situations where she can get extremely excited, was the Watch command. Sounds simple enough, however, this simple command has truly changed my daily routine for the better almost overnight!

You get their attention using the command watch, throw down a treat behind you. This needs to be done just behind you though so that they stay in close proximity and then they will come back and watch you again quickly. After the first couple of times, I have been able to pretty much eliminate the treats altogether, however, it must be noted that Harley is 5 years old and has had years of obedience training.

This class has changed my daily walks to be much more pleasant and stress-free, even during our usual obedience lessons she has calmed down tremendously! From one lesson her whole outlook and body language are so much more relaxed, even allowing her to initiate contact with other dogs! Which for her is an incredible thing. I am looking forward to seeing what else the next 5 weeks has in store and keeping you informed of our progress! 

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Tuesday, 22 January 2019

What I Got For Christmas & My Birthday 2018

Better late than never I always say! Plus given that some of my gifts were late as my parents spent Christmas away, I think it's only fair that I am given some slack here. That being said it is fair to say that I have been well and truly spoilt, as always this is in no way a bragging post or sponsored, just a here's what I got and maybe it will spark some ideas for future gifts. 

Without a doubt I had to get my hands on the Huda Nude Palette, thankfully I had been gifted it for my Birthday and it is everything I hoped it would be. The colours are just incredible and the blendability is out of this world! (Yes I made a word up, sue me.) A couple of other goodies I received unexpectedly were a very pretty lotus flower pandora pendant, a new shade of too faced peach blush, yankee candles, beautiful book and last but not least a gorgeous pen. Which I must add is a biro in black! The book came with a little note too, stating that it is perfect for flat lays and has some great tips within too, that it is and that it does!

One last item peeking in the corner is a tray, which I did actually hint at, something I have been looking for and wanted for flat lays.

I was in absolute shock and awe when I opened these wonderful gifts of Harley up, firstly when and where did they have to time to take the photos. I must admit my first thought was, how did someone take my dog without me noticing.. but all is well as it was only my family, but still the thought does cross your mind. 

Seeing as I had dabbled in creating a book folding of my own recently for my Mum's wedding Anniversary, I never expected to receive such a thoughtful gift representing Harley. These are certainly timeless gifts that anyone would appreciate be it for animal lovers, or family members

I am sad to say that one of my blogger secret Santa gifts have either not been sent or still has not arrived.. that being said I did actually figure out that one of them was Kat from and she sent me these lovely gluten-free brownies. I have to say they went down a treat!

I also got some more make-up goodies, from younique, that I am yet to try/ review - Blogger Problems. Plus the limited edition Peach Tinsel set, which I have to say smells amazing and has a beautiful subtle sheen. 

My final lot of goodies are these Too Faced melted matte lippies, the Sweet Smell of Christmas set & a spare Gingerbread Man. Owh, not forgetting the gingerbread matchmakers and one other pandora charm below. My Unicorn charm, that has got to be one of my favorites now. 

Whilst I have been spoilt rotten and have not included every single item, I am as always very grateful. Hopefully this will help others find gifts for their friends & family, however, please remember that there are those that have nothing. So when you are sifting through gifts and unwanted items etc. please remember to donate.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Tuesday, 15 January 2019

One Midi Skirt - Two Looks

After recently watching a couple of episodes of Tidy Up with Marie Kondo and discovering the KonMarie Method, I have since decided to start decluttering my house. Starting with my wardrobe, which has lead to creating outfit's much like those you see in capsule wardrobes. Pieces that can be put together and used again and again to create new looks with simple changes. 

I love simple tees, but those with subtle detailing are great too, I have no idea what brand this tee is as I bought it back in the US a couple of years ago and it was just in one of those off-brand shops with cute boho style items. I was going through a massive purple and elephants phase, however, it has been a timeless piece that seems to go with just about anything I style it with. 

This star print midi-skirt was a must purchase for me, I actually bought it on a whim thinking that it wouldn't suit me at all. Yet when it came and I put it on, I instantly fell in love and if you love a piece of clothing that much, then you know you're going to wear it. Sure I personally cannot wear flats in this skirt due to my short arse status, but who cares, it's not like I can walk the dog in it anyway so heels it is!

As for the Katie Loxton bag, well I have been admiring it online for quite some time now. Thanks to my brother I finally own it, and it just creates a whole unique vibe around this style. Making even the casual look seem upmarket, plus it is big enough to fit everything you could ever need in, trust me on that. 

It is amazing what you find when you start to declutter your house, I had actually forgotten I even owned wedge shoes like these and from the looks of them, I had never even worn them!! I actually have no idea why, they are comfy, look great and are super versatile. 

Changing up the look to a more professional style with this vintage swing wrap top was an easy choice for me. The colour, detail, and shape of the top work brilliantly together and compliment the midi-skirt. 

Are you going to give capsule wardrobes a try or tidy up your home using the KonMarie Method? I would love to hear about your experiences.

Skirt: Asos
Shirt: Miss Guided
Shoes: Newlook
Bag: Katie Loxton 

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Tuesday, 8 January 2019

I Finally Understand Why It's Okay Not To Be Okay | My Mental Health Journey

Following on with my mental health journey and counseling, I still struggle to actually open up. I know that may seem hard to grasp considering I waffle on and on here all the time, ranting and raving about god knows what, about whatever has happened to me or others in my life. That doesn't mean to say that I actually open myself up and allow myself to feel anything about it though. 

Allowing myself to let any form of feeling in, has been a no go area for me as long as I can remember, I automatically switch off from anything or anyone that can potentially hurt me in any way. I know that deep down I need to stop doing it, truthfully it is no way to live and how can I ever truly meet anyone and make a connection if I am never truly feeling. 

The last few months of 2018 were pretty hard for me, letting in people from my past that I thought I could trust. One, okay probably not so much, given our track record and past, I should have known better. That being said I allowed them into my life allowing myself to feel like I could have a laugh, friendship or more. Starting to open up and let some of my walls down is a huge step for me, let alone an ongoing battle to learn to trust those around me with my true self hiding deep behind those walls.

When the time came and I was inevitably letdown, I did what I always do and brushed it off. Just shoved down the hurt and thought hey ho another day another letdown. What more is there to be done about it, I don't want to feel pain, upset or hollow, I don't want to cry and I certainly do not want to let myself slip back into that dark black whole rocking on the edge of a cliff. That's the truth of it, or so I found out recently, I don't allow myself to feel even the slightest bit of sadness because I am too scared that I will end up right back at the start.  

So it's here that I have come to understand what IT'S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY, really means, to allow yourself to feel the small things. Let in the hurt when you've been hurt or letdown, feel the tears. My counselor gave me a really good mantra to concentrate on when I need to try to let in those small feelings, "The House is not Burning Down, It's just burnt Toast." Just because you are allowing yourself to feel a little heartache doesn't mean that everything is going to come crashing down, believe me, this is not an easy concept for me write let alone grasp. 

Knowing your emotions, deciphering them into logical sense can be a great tool to help overcome a sense of drowning. For example, I have always wanted kids, yet whenever I see babies or hold a baby I completely switch off. I don't want to get attached or do the normal aww, let me cuddle them for hours etc. I want to give them back asap and keep well away, I will help out mechanically because that's how I am wired but I just don't get emotional. Working this back I found out that I feel this way because of my need to stay emotionally detached from anything that can hurt me. This is not the baby or mother, this is the actual picture of the situation itself. The picture of a happy family, the perfect father and my child with Harley of course. It is all a way for me to block out my emotions and quite simply jealousy of the situation, which is in no way anyone's fault, especially not mine. 

I guess to conclude if you're in a similar boat, breakdown your emotions/ feelings, find the route. Allow yourself to feel that or whatever you need to feel and remember - "The House is not Burning Down, It's just burnt Toast."

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Thursday, 3 January 2019

2018 Lookback .. and Some Resolutions

Looking back this year has been pretty damn good, although I have had some really tough times and trials to overcome. With the help of those close to me, I have truly come a long way, I just hope that 2019 brings me just as many adventures as 2018. 

The start of 2018 kind of carried over from 2017, with my unexplained weight loss still looming over me and making me feel very low. It was the start of everything to come throughout the year. Thankfully, now my weight has stabilised and I am happy with that even though I am still very slim. So long as I don't lose weight without any explanation, I am happy. 

The start wasn't all bad though, I got out of my comfort zone and started to go to meet up groups to meet new people. This is where I actually met a new friend of mine now Marie, we regularly catch up and chat. It's true that if you get up and go out there things will change. 

In March, however, I was finally able to go to the C2C concert!!! I actually went 2 days in a row, lucky me right! Firstly I went with my mum and we made a day trip of it, going to Carnaby St. checking out the Too Faced store etc. unfortunately Spectrum wasn't open then.

The second day was spent with a good friend, Jamie, it's just a shame that we can't go again this year!

Can I just say that our Summer was amazing! it certainly provided many opportunities for myself & Christie to get lots of fashion shots and spend quality time together. 

It was a wedding kind of Year too, first up was an old school friend. Hannah & school sweetheart Peter. Myself and Christie were invited to the Hen party, where we did the Pretty Muddy Race in Norwich and considering I hadn't done too much training I think I did well to keep up with Christie. 

The evening, however, didn't last very long. Let's just say that drinks went around and certain people had a little too much. That's not to say the night wasn't fruitful, I managed to figure out what Christies perfect Hen Night would be.. little did she know though. 

The wedding reception was a lovely evening, plenty of dancing and laughs.   
Come June/July I came clean to my family about my mental health, how close I had come to suicide and the fact that I truly needed help. From there I was able to open up to friends and you guys on here, which in combination with counseling has been very helpful in my recovery. Getting things off my chest, ranting and just generally talking does truly help to make sense of it all. 

Though I have had some ups and downs, I have come out of it all stronger! One amazing adventure I had in 2018 was going to Rome. Seeing one of the most beautiful and historical cities was incredible and going with close family & friends made it all that more special. 

On my return from Rome, I finally did something I had been debating for a while, I got Microbladed!!! I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made, not having to fill in your brows every day is amazing. Just having perfect brows from the moment you wake is every girl's dream. 

Myself & Christie were invited along to a few launch parties this year, which has been pretty good for both of our blogs. Being invited to these kinds of events is always a pleasure and does make you feel important. 

Harley has been spoilt rotten this year, with many Agility events and private field trips. 

A big surprise I had the liberty of planning along with some of Christies nearest and dearest, was her Hen Party. She had no idea at all, having it in her head that we were going away for a bloggers event, she was completely in shock all day long. Having already found out some ideas from her about what she would want for a perfect Hen Do, we planned a Wherry boat trip for the day and a slumber party in the evening. 

All with games, cakes, matching tees, and alcho pops. 

November brought me both Harley & Nan's Birthday. Cannot believe my baby girl is 5 now, she is so big, I am almost the same height. To celebrate her birthday, I actually took her to the Brewdog in Norwich for a Pawty and invited along a few friends. She had a great time, those that came along found it funny too. 

For Nan's birthday, we did something a little different and went on a steam train for the day, which also happened to be Harley's first ever time. She was ever so well behaved and loved all the new smells. 

December was truly a blessed month! The start was kicked off with Christie & James's wedding which was the best wedding I have been to, not only because you can see how much they love one another but the announcement of a Baby Williamson just topped it all off. There aren't many people that you can say are 100% made for each other, however, these two are and I can say that with all of my heart. 

I finally got to go see doggy Santa again! Having missed it in the last few years, I was pleased that I was able to take Harley this year. 

My 29th was a pretty special day & night, spending the day at a spa with my Mum just relaxing enjoying treatments and afternoon tea. Followed by bowling and drinks in the evening with my close friends and brother, although I did lose my reign as air hockey champion to James, it was a great night. 

Seeing in 2018, with my Nan was pretty special too. brushing up on some line dancing and just having a little giggle was exactly what I needed. 

I couldn't have asked for better memories than these, making new friends too such as Marie, however, this year for 2019 I plan on doing more!

I want to travel more with Harley and be adventurous. Take her to new places, go hiking, see the UK's landscapes. So hopefully come March time (when I have enough money/ everything bought) I plan on taking her to a different place for a weekend every month maybe once or twice, going further afield each time.  

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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