Thursday, 26 July 2012

Keeping Your Pets Cool This Summer: Puppy Paddling Pool

I've talked about how important it is to keep your pets cool in the hot weather before and buying a children's paddling pool for the garden is one of the easiest ways to do it.

You can get them from most local
Supermarkets (I picked up a baby paddling pool for £4 from Sainsburys) and they provide some great photo opportunities too! Not to mention it's absolute bliss to work in the sunshine with your feet cooling in the pool. Sharing is caring, kids!

Make sure you remember to give the dogs a thorough brush when they get out though or they will get terrible knots.

Please send in your puppy paddling pool pictures. I'd love to see them!

Enjoy the sunshine xo

Monday, 16 July 2012

Focussing On Your Goals: DIY Aspiration Dream Board

Last weekend I made an Aspiration Board and after posting about it on Twitter I got a lot of responses saying that it was a good idea, so I thought I'd tell you all how I made mine so you can make one of your own. It's really easy and doesn't really need instructions but this is just to give you an idea.

It's a great way to focus on your goals for the next few years/months/days and it gives you something to visualise. The best thing about it is you can customise it for your own needs.

What you will need:
  •  Printed or Handwritten List of Your Goals
  • Printed Pictures that represent your goals (I made a collage on the computer and printed it on one piece of paper to save time and paper)
  • Pretty Card (I've used 2 pieces of pink card stuck together to make a bigger piece)
  • Scissors
  • Stickytape
  • Glue


How to make it:
  • Position your pictures on the card to make a collage. You can place these however you like and overlap them in you wish.
  • Cut out your goals and stick them around the edge of the card.
  • Wait for the glue to try and stick it up on your wall in a place that you will easily see every day.
  • Focus on your goals and achieve your dreams!

Easy peasy!  Let me know if you make one and if you find it helpful to focus on your goals.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Professional Pet Sitting in Maidenhead, Berkshire

Our Doggie Daycare services are now available in Maidenhead and Cookham, Berkshire.

£25 per day (or £30 for 2 dogs from the same household.)
Currently only available in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
£35 per day (or £40 for 2 dogs from the same household.)
Currently only available in Maidenhead, Berkshire. 

·         Constant care and companionship from an experienced pet owner.
·         1  – 2 walks per day (This can be tailored to your dogs needs)
·         A warm bath after walks in the winter months.
·         A quiet, calm and safe environment – Less than 2 minutes walk from the local family park.
·         Playtime, fun, feeds, cuddles and rock star treatment.

*Please note we never take on more than 2 dogs per day.
*We promise to provide your pet with constant care for the whole time that they are with us and we can guarantee that they will never be left unattended or alone for more than 30 minutes per day.
For more information and to book with us please contact us via our website at 

Monday, 9 July 2012

The Importance of Choosing a Good Tattoo Artist – My Bad Tattoos

I've been doing a lot of planning for my next tattoo over the last few weeks. I've been researching a lot and I've chosen my artist. I've picked the different elements that I want to be included in my tattoo and I've written lists and created mood boards of similar images so that my artist and I have a very clear picture of what I want. 
I've decided to do this quite a way in advance of my appointment so that I have time to reflect on my design. It's going to be a large scale tattoo so I want to be 100% sure on every aspect of it. Below is on of the posts I wrote for my other blog earlier this year to highlight the importance of choosing a really good tattoo artists to carry out your work.

The Importance of Choosing a Good Tattoo Artist – My Bad Tattoos

Readers of this blog will know that I love sharing the work of great tattoo artists and that I run a monthly tattoo artist spotlight in the form of my Tattoo Tuesday blog posts. I actually don’t have that many tattoos myself, I think people always assume that I’m heavily tattooed but I’m not. I only have 6 tattoos but I have a real passion for tattoo art (especially traditional styles) and I plan on getting many more.
When I first got into tattoos I didn’t really understand what went into a good tattoo. What makes a good tattoo artist and what makes a good tattoo? 

Unfortunately for me, I learnt the hard way of what DOESN’T make a good tattoo.

I was 16 years old when I first stepped foot into a tattoo shop. 2 years under the legal age. I didn’t do any research for myself and just went off the recommendation of a friend.
The shop was the kind that give the tattoo industry a bad name. Not particularly clean, rude owners, children running around the place causing a lot of noise and even more mess, and even motorbikes parked in the waiting room next to a pool table. Despite all of the signs, I didn’t know any better and went ahead and got tattooed there. Not once, not twice, not three times, or even four times. Within the space of 2 years I went back to that place more than once and got a total of 5, yes FIVE tattoos there. I was stupid, and because I hadn’t done my research I thought this was “normal” for a tattoo shop. Ignorance is ugly, and leads to even uglier tattoos!

Not all of them are bad. The first one I got, I will keep purely for it’s sentimental meaning, and the cherry blossoms on my left foot aren’t too disastrous and can easily be touched up to be improved but the other 3 are horrible.
The two on my right foot are going to have to be lazered off (I’ll tell you more about that later) and the floral design on my wrist has since been covered up.

I hated the one on my foot almost as soon as I saw the finished product. That feeling of dread that you get whilst you’re waking out of the door knowing that no matter how hard you scrub, this is definitely not going to come off is horrible, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Hopefully this post will keep you from making the same mistakes that I did.

We’ll start with my wrist tattoo. I’ll point out all the things that are wrong with it ( all of which the tattoo artist should have pointed our before they refused to do this tattoo by the way – that’s what any reputable artist would have done)
I won’t go into the tastefulness (or lack of) of this design as that’s a personal taste aspect and everyone likes different things but there are so many things that are technically wrong with this tattoo.

Firstly, it’s too small and too crammed. You can’t cram that much crap into one small tattoo. It was too detailed and the lines started to blur (bleed is apparently the correct term) together after only a few months.
Adding that much detail into a small tattoo is a recipe for disaster. It doesn’t translate well and ends up looking really bad in a really short space of time.

The second main thing that is really wrong with this tattoo is the placement. Not only is it a weird size for the area that it’s on (my wrist) but it was also put so close to my hand. This was SO painful when I was getting it done as it goes right over my tendons. When I was getting it covered up by my new artist, they said that a wrist tattoo should never be put that close to your hand, as it’s painful to do, and also because of the movement of your wrist and your hand it fades very quickly and is generally just a rubbish place for a tattoo.
I had the same problem with the ones on my feet which is why I can’t get them covered up and I have to get them removed. They’ve been put in such a ridiculous place that they will be really hard to cover up. Make sure the placement of your tattoo is correct, because if it does go wrong sometimes if not as easy as a simple coverup job.

Thirdly, the way in which the tattoo was done is just appalling. The line work is so wonky, that I’m pretty sure my dogs could have drawn straighter lines. The artist also stopped about 6 times during the process to take phone calls as they didn’t have a shop receptionist. Very annoying, rude and also made the whole process a lot longer than it needed to be.

Also, I’m not sure how she did it, but it’s almost as if this woman had no tattooing technique what so ever. Some lines were paper thin and really light and then half way through the line it would turn thicker and darker. It just looked very uneven, unfinished and generally just awful. People often asked me if this tattoo along with the ones of my right foot are real, as they look like they have been drawn on with a Biro.

Luckily for me, I got my wrist tattoo covered up by the lovely Mark Ford from Evil from The Needle last year. Look how much better it is! I love the new design and it’s something simple and neutral that I could easily add too if I decided to get a sleeve or extend it in any way. Perfect!
I’m still working on fixing the other uglies that I got from that god awful shop in Berkshire but I’ll get there soon :) 

Hopefully this post will highlight exactly what you SHOULDN’T get from a tattoo or a so called “artist” and why you shouldn’t get tattooed as an uneducated 16 year old. Make sure you pick a great artist from a well known, establish shop. If you beed some inspiration why not check out the artists I have featured in my Tattoo Tuesday posts? After all, things are permanent, people!
Anyone else had any tattoo nightmares? Let me know in the comments and we can share horror stories Xo

Friday, 6 July 2012

ITV's Super Tiny Animals - Round 2

I've just seen an advert for the return of ITV's "Super Tiny Aniamls" - I blogged about this programme last year when it was originally on TV and ITV have decided to bring it back for a second season/episode. Here's my thought's on last year's show below...

Super Tiny Animals: Super Cute or Super Irresponsible? Originally Posted on

Turns out, it was more of the latter.
As a chihuahua mummy and pet boutique owner myself I would be a hypocrite if I said I wasn’t guilty of finding small animals cute, and quite honestly, completely spoiling my own with unnecessary (often handmade) and very expensive accessories.
Bambi the Chihuahua
Bambi the Chihuahua – My little baby girl!
Bear the Chihuahua
Bear the Chihuahua - My little baby boy!

I even set up a small business pandering to the needs to animals lovers like myself, but even to me, ITV’s portrayal of the animals in this show was more than a little bit irresponsible and unnecessary.

Search Twitter (#SuperTinyAnimals) and you’ll see a range of comments  ranging from “OMG I want a micropig!” to “This is so cruel. What the hell have they done to that poor dog!?”
ITV showed £3000 dog bowls and £10,000 dogs, but these weren’t any old, overpriced dogs. Oh no! The star of the show was a little black dog called Wally weighing in at just 1lb.
1lb! That’s like a block of butter! ITV claimed that the petshop based in America (surprise, surprise!) were a reputable and responsible company because they did not buy their animals from puppy farms. Erm, round of applause for you NOT buying your dogs from illegal breeders. They also claimed that there was nothing medically wrong with this dog being the size that it was because “it only has a little bit of water on the brain. Not enough to be a serious case.”

WHAT!? That’s like saying, oh you’ve only got a little bit of cancer from smoking, but you’re still alive so you probably shouldn’t worry about it. Oh and don’t give up the fags because it probably wasn’t their fault that you got that little bit of cancer in the first place.

Being a chihuahua owner and lover of the breed for as long as I can remember, I am well aware of the medical issues that come with over breeding and “downsizing” of the breed. Dogs who are bred to be that small can develop water on the brain, collapsed trachea, spinal and joint abnormalities and often have a very short lifespan.

I have 2 fairly small chihuahuas myself, Bambi, the smallest being 3-4lb (we did not get her due to her size, she was the last of her litter left and we simply fell in love with her when we saw her!) and I would never dream about breeding her, especially as the males used for breeding tend to be smaller than the females. Even if I wanted to I would have absolutely no idea where to find a 2lb dog! Maybe I should ask ITV?

“Chihuahua breeders often use terms like Teacup, Pocket Size, Tiny Toy, Miniature or Standard to describe puppies. These terms are not recognized by the breed standards and are considered marketing gimmicks to inflate the value of puppies.”

The programme was even boasting about how small of a horse they had found. That poor horse had dwarfism and lots of other medical issues which even the owners admitted, would probably result in having to put him to sleep quite early on in his life.
This is not something that should be encouraged. Animals are lives, they have souls and personalities and they understand emotions just like we do (and sometimes better than we do!) I’m just worried that with this programme there’s going to be an increase (again) in the rates of breeding tiny animals that will eaither die of illness or end up in shelters when they outgrow their teacups.

There is already an increase in the numbers of chihuahuas being brought into animal shelters. Presumably because owners get bored of them and trade them in for the latest “it dog” (that’s a pug by the way!)
So if you are looking to get a small dog, please make sure they you check out your local animal shelters first, and if you do want a pedigree make sure you buy from a credited and repuitable breeder. 

More info on Chihuahuas in particular can be found at

Hayley xo

Monday, 2 July 2012

Tattoo Tuesday - A New Blog Feature Continued

So, some of you may know that I have another business (Diamonds and Daggers) and I have been using that blog until now to blog about my life, loves and running a business. Well since I have taken a step back from that business to pursue my real passion (this one!) I am (obviously) not going to be blogging over there and more and will be blogging here instead.

One of my most popular features on my old blog, that I am going to introduce over here was my Tattoo Tuesday monthly feature. Each month I would pick my favourite tattoo artists from around the world and blog about them. As I'm sure you will know, I love tattoos and it seemed only natural to blog about the amazing artists behind them, and I don't want to give that up just because I've switched blogs.

From Tuesday 3rd July (tomorrow) I'll be regularly posting about my favourite artists and if you want to read the artists that I've feature before, just click on the links below. Enjoy!

 There were actually a couple more artists featured but as I was going back through all the posts I noticed that the pictures were broken, so I will re-feature them with new pictures in the coming months :)

Hayley xo

* Tattoo Tuesday is a monthly blog feature that is put out on the first Tuesday of every month, showcasing my favourite tattoo artists around the world. To see previous Tattoo Tuesday posts on my old blog, please click here.

 You can also read my blog post about my bad tattoos and the important of choosing a good tattoo artist here.