Thursday, 6 September 2018

My Pet Story

My Pet Story with Petplan - How A Dog Changed My Life

There are many reasons why dogs are known as man's best friend. The moment you welcome a fur baby into your life your world is turned upside down and you grow and change as a person. Even if you don't have a dog yourself I bet some of you are delighted when you meet a dog when you're out walking or when watching a cute dog video online. 
Petplan Pet Insurance have asked me to share my pet story with you so I thought I would share the many benefits my dog Coco has brought to my life. Coco has lived with myself and Martyn for over a year now and I could not imagine life without him. He attended our wedding last year, came on honeymoon with us and is always the focus of our attention. 

I think my dog is the best dog in the world 

Marnie the dog, Boo and Tuna used to be my favourite internet famous dogs but now Coco is undisputed champion of the dog world and I have 20,000 photos of him on my phone which prove this. He can do no wrong and his crooked smile and big expressive eyes melt my heart. 

I'm no longer house proud

I was adamant that Coco would be well trained, sleep in his own bed and all of his things would be stored away neatly. This fell apart after about 2 hours of getting Coco into our home. His toys are strewn all over the living room, I'm always standing on his chew sticks and he is allowed to come into bed for a cuddle. I find it really hard to say no to Coco and he has taken over the house. 

I smile more

When he does something cute, I smile. When he learned how to wait until walkies to go to the toilet I smiled and even when he does something naughty I have to laugh it off and smile. Coco is a fantastic companion and I'm no longer lonely when my husband is on the late shifts and he encourages me to be positive. I do find it hard to smile when I'm scrubbing his wee and sick out of the carpet though, why is Coco never sick on the wooden floor?!

I stay in more 

Martyn and I went out far more frequently before we got Coco. We ate out, went shopping together and had the freedom to go anywhere we liked. Our life has had to change dramatically since we got Coco. We have fewer holidays abroad and have bought a caravan so we can now take him with us wherever we go. We will be going to a dog friendly pub for our anniversary meal later in the month and many historic attractions are off the cards if we want to do things as a group. 

I'm really not a fan of leaving Coco in a crate and I'm more than happy to find alternative attractions where he can come with us and we now make more of beaches and the great outdoors rather than more formal settings like museums. Is he worth it? 100% yes. 

I move more 
Owning a dog can motivate you to exercise every day. In the winter I go to work, come home and put my PJs on but now I have Coco bringing his lead to me or barking at me to go for a walk and I can't say no, even if it's raining or I've had a bad day. Taking your dog for a 30 minute walk every day can greatly improve your health and it really helps me to de-stress. I love to see how happy Coco is when we go for a walk, he looks back at me with a huge grin on his face. 

I fell in love 

Dogs show the most unconditional love and I made a best friend the day we brought Coco home. He's my little shadow and follows me everywhere and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Petplan want to hear your Pet Stories too, so whether it is a recovery from illness or just their day to day mischief share your story on Petplan’s Facebook or Instagram using #PethoodStories

This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own.

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Sunday, 2 September 2018

A Guide to Holiday Travelling in Style

It is easy to assume that when travelling, you must disregard all sense of fashion and style in lieu of comfort and ease. I believe that you can find a balance between the two. I obsess over the smallest details before I travel and even have holiday planning folders and lists of things to pack. Attention to detail before travelling means I'm not rushing around on the day of travel and have time to think about what to wear and styling an outfit that I will be both comfortable and confident in when I'm travelling.

After selecting your chosen holiday location, the excitement of organising your holiday wardrobe can take over. I bought a pair of Minnie ears for my upcoming trip to Disneyworld before getting my ESTA (visa for travel) Not very practical! I've got cute themed outfits for each day but no comfortable clothes to journey in. I'm planning on wearing a jersey dress with a pair of comfy trainers and a lot of layers. After all, travelling between countries and continents does mean differing temperatures. My upcoming trip to Innsbruck will see me leave a relatively mild UK for a snow-covered Austria and my trip to the US will mean a huge jump in temperatures so I need to be prepared for the sudden change in climate when I step off the plane.

Without wanting to scare anyone sandals are not an ideal choice of footwear for a flight. In the unlikely event of an emergency, it’s best to have a good set of sturdy shoes that will protect your feet. For my trip to Innsbruck I'll be wearing my walking boots on the plane as they will take up a lot of valuable space in my hand luggage only flight. With only a small amount of space for city breaks I like to be comfortable enough for sitting on a place for several hours but also pulled-together enough so that when we deplane I'm ready to hit the ground running and start exploring. 

As with preparing any outfit, attention to detail is paramount. Looking at the different accessories when travelling, however, is even more important. Going through airports is stressful enough, without having to worry about your expensive watch getting lost or misplacing your favourite pair of sunglasses. So, limiting the number of items you carry on your person is probably a good idea. I tend to pack most of my accessories in the bag I check in. I've lost countless memory cards and belts by emptying my bag at the security check in at the airport. 

Travelling in style means looking your best for the circumstance, including smart matching suitcases or a sturdy backpack.  I like to pick practical bags which can be wiped down if there is a spill and try to buy items that look luxurious yet can withstand the trials of travels and different weather. A leather wash bag is ideal and I also have plastic wallets for my camera batteries and chargers so they are safe from the rain. My oil cloth backpack comes everywhere with me and doesn't get tatty or grubby, ideal for hand luggage on a weekend break. 

Preparing for travel in style means a stress-free journey, allowing for you to take in the different sights or even shop at the airport duty-free, instead of worrying about your next move. A helpful way of overcoming this is to get your documents and itineraries ready and put them away in a memorable, but safe, place. I've normally got a folder with maps, tickets and reservations all in one place. I know a lot of you will use apps and scan barcode tickets but I like to have everything printed out just in case my phone has no battery. 

Ultimately, you should be focusing on the exciting destination at the end of the travel! I find that detailed planning and preparation may seem unnecessary but it removes a lot of the stress of travelling. Planning allows me to be cool, calm and collected on the day of travel. 

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