Pets

Pet Benefits

When Husband and I adopted our beloved dog Chuck, back in 2006, we had no idea just how must he’d do for us, as part of our little family. When Husband was sent home from the hospital after Sausage’s horrible, traumatic birth, not knowing whether his wife and child would pull through, it was Chuck who was there to offer a comforting lick on the hand in his hour of need.

When Husband started working nights and I was at home with Sausage as a young baby, it was Chuck who sat guard by the bedroom door and acted like an early warning system when anyone so much as walked near the house. He gave me an element of peace of mind that I would never have had, had I been alone with a newborn.

When I decided to go on a health-kick a couple of years ago, it was Chuck who ran alongside me while I did my couch-to-5k and Husband has often said how having a dog has really given him a great incentive to stay active, despite doing a sedentary job.

Sunrise Care have put together an infographic to show just how beneficial it can be to elderly people to have a pet, from improving our physical health, mental health and overall sense of wellbeing, having a pet is so much more than just a companion on lonely evenings. Pet infographic

I know for a fact that Chuck had helped with our health, as a family, and I completely agree that he makes me more sociable; I’ve often stopped to chat to other dog walkers when I take him out, and I’ve found that other people are more likely to throw a cheery “Good Morning!” in my direction when I’m walking the mutt.

Chuck is officially a senior dog now – he was around 2 when we got him from the rescue centre, which was eight years ago this October, so he’s not quite as able to go on the super long walks that he enjoyed when he was a younger dog, but he still very much enjoys a yomp around the local fields and now that we’ve got an estate car, he can jump into the boot and be driven somewhere to walk if his legs can’t quite keep up.

Having a dog is one of the best decisions that Husband and I ever made and I never imagined that he’d make our lives as rich as he has. I can wholeheartedly recommend being a dog owner, if not for the reasons stated above but also for the fact that he gives the best hugs you could possibly imagine – and who doesn’t love hugs?!

Anger · Cancer

EasyJet and A Matter of Human Decency

There’s a few things I can almost guarantee when I see my friend Kelly popping up on my Facebook feed. Firstly, she always looks stunning. Secondly, she always looks happy. Lastly, she’s usually with her friend Oli. Their Facebook banter never fails to amuse me and they say those hideously insulting things to each other that you could only ever say to a friend who you absolutely adore. Kelly and I went to senior school together and she’s one of the nicest people you could hope to meet and Oli means the absolute world to her.

Kelly and Oli

So, why am I telling you all this? Well, last week, Kelly told me that her beloved friend has been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of lymphoma and is currently undergoing treatment at University College Hospital London. Obviously, she’s devastated and her main concern is to see her friend well again, but she’s also on a bit of a mission at the moment. You see, Oli was due to go on holiday tomorrow and has his flights booked with Easy Jet, but the company has refused to refund him because it ‘goes against their policy’. The best they can offer him is a re-booking at a later date, and they’re failing to see the absolute ridiculousness of asking a cancer patient to know when they’re going to be well enough to go on holiday again.

To be honest, I’m sick of these companies and their ‘policies’.

EasyJet is less than 20 years old, having been founded in 1995 by the infamous Stelios and as of last year generated revenue of almost 4 and a half billion pounds and a net profit of £478 million. Pounds out of the pockets of normal, hard-working people like Oli who don’t want to pay through the nose for their holidays and in doing so have made Stelios a very, very wealthy man. Real people with real lives and real illnesses, who’ve made EasyJet what it is today.

If this was a matter of someone having a cold, or simply changing their minds, I could understand EasyJet standing fast over their decision to keep Oli’s money and I realise that in legal terms, once a purchase is made a customer has agreed to the companies terms and conditions, but what would it take to just employ a bit of common decency for a passenger, someone who SHOULD be a valued customer, in what’s probably the worst few months of his life?

But, what do EasyJet care? This is just more money in their pockets and another person screwed over. There are millions more passengers just waiting to hop on their planes because their prices are relatively low, but I guarantee you that the £500 that Oli paid for his flight is worth a hell of a lot more to him than it is to a multi-billion pound company.

I for one am disgusted and won’t be travelling by EasyJet in the future, and I hope my friends and readers also think long and hard before paying money to a company which is willing to be so heartless. I’ve never met Oli, but I want to take this opportunity to send him love and well-wishes and best of luck with his treatment, and I really hope that EasyJet think again about their unwillingness to help a poorly young man.

(If you want to find Oli on Twitter, his handle is @oliverdickson. I’m sure he’d be really grateful for some support and RT’s of his tweets to EasyJet)

Beauty

8 Unusual Beauty Tips for the Woman of 2014

Guest post

Each woman has her own little tricks when it comes to beauty. Beauty products evolve and so should the beauty tricks you learned when you were just a teenager. To keep yourself updated, here are 8 unusual beauty tips starting from a bottle of perfume for women, to white eyeliners and more.

1. When wearing perfume, don’t spray all over your body. For sure, you know there are ladies who almost shower their trademark scent. The more you spray a particular scent on you, the more your olfactory senses get tired of the smell easily. Just spray on your wrist, neck and a couple of pulse points. Vary your perfume every two days.

2. Instead of applying a highlighting product under your eyes, just apply a white eyeliner under your lower lash line. Highlighters can make your skin oily while white eyeliners brighten up the eyes and make you look more awake.

nails

3. Do French manicure the modern way. A straight white line at the tip of your nail is so last season. What you need to do is take two shades of one color: one light and the other dark. Use the dark polish as your nail base. Apply the light color on a sponge and start sponging at the tip of your already colored nails. You can even revert the colors if you want the darker one to be at the tips. Do this back and forth and you’ll get French manicure 2014.

4. Before the last bit of summer ends, do a body scrub naturally. While you’re on the beach, get a handful of coarse sand, mix with a bit of salt water and start scrubbing. Make sure you’re only doing it gently.

5. Remember the years when you go to the salon to get super straight, shiny hair? And if you can get it in jet black color, you’d actually do it? Sad to say but that’s a thing of the past. Nowadays, matte hair textures are better. The only way to do that is to spray dry shampoo on your hair. This product works well with unwashed hair, too.

6. When using a heated eyelash curler, apply waterproof mascara first on your lashes. Make sure the mascara-coated lashes are dry. This will give you that baby doll look without the feeling of wearing heavy false lashes.

lashes

7. Want to have thick, power brows like Lily Collins, Jennifer Connelly and Cara Delevingne? Instead of using an eyebrow pencil or a powder, use brown mascara instead. Some stores even now offer a specialized eyebrow mascara as the included applicator can color the brows more precisely than powder or liner. It stays longer, too.

8. Learn to take extra care of your nails, especially now that nail art is becoming a trend. Make sure your nails are treated with a special solution before and after polish. Regularly use a nail balm to keep your nails strong. In addition, save the trip to a nail salon if you have yellowish nails due to cheap polish. The cheapest and most effective way to do this is to slice a lemon and dip all your nails in the pulp.

sleep

What’s Your #WeirdestPlaceToSleep? (sp)

sleep in weird placesSleep is one of those things that can be a bit of a contentious issue in the MtW house. It’s a running joke that I could sleep on a washing line, were that my only option, while Husband is a full-blown insomniac who has trouble sleeping even in the most ideal conditions. The girls fall somewhere in the middle – BB sleeps really well, going down around 8pm and generally sleeping right through until 7 the next morning, while Sausage is a ‘late to bed/early to rise’ kinda gal and seems to function on far less sleep than other kids of her age.

CarpetRight are currently running an ace competition, giving you the chance to  £700 voucher to spend on a bed at Carpetright and the runner up prize is a luxury family glamping holiday courtesy of Mill Farm luxury holidays. All you need to do is hit them up on social media (@carpetright on Twitter or on the Carpetright Facebook page) with a picture showing the weirdest place you’ve ever slept, adding the hashtag #WeirdestPlaceToSleep to be in with a chance of winning.

When I was younger, I was always the first person to fall asleep at a sleepover with friends and I’ve actually fallen asleep in a nightclub once before, whilst completely sober I might add. I once slept in my parents conservatory, covered with coats, because my Dad accidentally locked me out of the house, which was rather chilly and uncomfortable. I’ve also been known to fall asleep sitting at my laptop, with my fingers still on the keyboard. By far, the weirdest place I’ve fallen asleep is next to Husband’s hospital bed, after a long wait in A&E. Sure, that may not sound weird, but when you consider the fact that I was STANDING UP at the time and almost smashed my face in, you get a better picture of the weirdness of the situation!

I have to say, far from being a problem, I actually see my ability to fall asleep in cruel and uncomfortable conditions as a gift – everything is better after a sleep and being able to get my head down wherever I am leaves me far better equipped to deal with waking life! Sadly, my girls don’t seem to have inherited this gift and on the extremely rare occasions that Husband and I have managed a night out since the kids came along, Sausage has never managed to fall asleep if we aren’t there for her.

How about you? What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever managed to fall asleep? Does sleep come easily to you or are you a night owl like Husband and Sausage? Leave me a comment below and then get yourself over to Carpetright’s social media to leave your entry!

Anger · Fashion and Style

H&M and the Slightly Scary Baby T-Shirt

Before I begin, I should give you some background – BB is currently teething, which means that at any time, she can be found soaked to the navel in dribble, even when she’s wearing a bib. While the weather was super warm, I tended to let her roll around in just a nappy while we’re at home, but now that the temperature has dropped, I’ve been putting clothes on her during the day. Recently, we took a trip to H&M, one of my favourite places to buy basics for the girls (I’ve written about their summer dresses for girls here before) and I picked up a cute little 2-pack of t-shirts for the baby. One was plain, in a baby pink colour, and the other was a lovely deep pink floral print.hmprod

The first time BB wore her patterned t-shirt, and soaked it in the inevitable gallon of dribble, I noticed once I took it off of her that the vest she had on underneath was tinged pink from the dye of her H&M t-shirt, so when it came to washing the item I made sure I kept it to one side and hand-washed it rather than chucking it in the machine and risking everything else turning pink. Boy am I glad I did…

I must say, I was shocked at the amount of dye which came out of the shirt while I was handwashing it, and even with about a dozen rinses under clean running water, the water was still coming out pink. I didn’t think much about this beyond the inconvenience of having to handwash the garment every time BB uses it, but Husband (and later my BFF when I shared the pic above in Instagram) commented that this seems a little irresponsible on a garment for an infant. What would BB have been swallowing if she’d done what she OFTEN does and chewed or sucked the sleeve or neck of her t-shirt? I know dyes aren’t toxic if they’re against the skin, but the baby could genuinely have ended up with a belly full of it, and goodness only knows how I would have reacted if that colour had come out of the other end of her once it passed through her system.

I’m aware that certain garments are overdyed to maintain a decent depth of colour through repeated wear and wash, but I’m really disappointed that H&M did this on a t-shirt intended for wear by a 2-4 month old, and given the company’s efforts toward ethical trading, sustainability and conscientious fashion, this seems potentially dangerous and on a lesser note, fairly wasteful.

I’m really hoping that someone who works for H&M reads this post and comments, so if you have a contact there please do share it with them, or if not, please tweet the post to their Twitter account as I’d really like a response.

What would you think if this was a garment you’d put on your baby?