Posted in Blogging, Life

Reflecting on my 2020 goals and setting new ones for 2021

In a weird way, I’m struggling with 2020 coming to an end, as it feels like it was such a waste of time and that nothing was achieved… so I thought reflecting back a bit might help me shift my perspective. Plus, there’s always a new day, a new week, a new month, or a new year to set and achieve your goals!

I don’t exactly go back and read my old posts, so I although of course I remember what my goals were for last year, I haven’t read the post properly since I published it… so this feels a little strange delving back to what I thought 2020 would be like, pre-covid but let’s see what I said!

2020 goals… did I acheive them?

1. Write more.
I said in my 2020 New Years post that “I want 2020 to be the year I develop as a writer and a blogger.” Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t stick to writing as often as I would have liked, especially towards the end of the year… but I think in the grand scheme of things, I did pretty well!

2020 was a hectic year for me… I continued to go to work throughout all the lockdowns we had in the UK, and as a big part of my job involves sourcing PPE… you can imagine how the first half of the year was for me! Despite this, I created a blogging schedule and tried to set aside time for writing as much as possible.

So, did I acheive this goal? I’m gonna say yes!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

2. Read more.
Back in January 2020 I said that “my collection of books keeps growing and I owe it to them to get them read! I’d like to finally make sure I set aside time in the evening to read, instead of sitting on my phone.”

I will admit here, that many of my physical books have remained untouched since then, save the exception of perhaps 1 or 2. I feel embarrassed but as I said, the year was a crazy one!

It wasn’t a total failure on the reading front though… in 2020 I discovered audiobooks! So whilst I haven’t really read a physical book, I have listened to a fair few. Still not as many as I would have liked but… have I acheived this goal? I’m still going to go with a yes, but with the aim to try a bit harder again in 2021.

3. Worry less.
“I worry far, FAR, too much and frankly, I need to chill out a little. I’ll never not be a worrier I don’t think, but it’d be nice to learn to try and just let things go a bit more.”

Oh wow, I had no idea what was yet to come, did I?!

I didn’t specify in my last post, as a I don’t really talk about my mental health that much online, but it’s a lot more complicated for me that “I just worry too much”. I have stuggled with anxiety and panic attacks for most of my life, so it was never as simple as just “worry less”… Then the world was hit with a pandemic and we all faced a whole new level of stress and anxiety.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I had wanted to start getting therapy in 2020, which was going to take a lot of guts as it was… but to go to a GP in the midst of Covid early in the year, was another level entirely. I also felt like I wouldn’t be taken seriously, as we were ALL scared. However, by August/September, my MH was really suffering. I could write a whole other post on it all, and I probably will later on in the year, but for the sake of getting to the point for now: I finally started seeing a counsellor in September.

So whilst I can’t actually say that I worried less, counselling is helping me understand and manage my anxiety in a way that to be honest, I didn’t think was possible. So did I acheive this goal? Too right I did.

4. Walk 1000 miles.
“Country Walking Magazine do this every year now, but this is the first year I’m giving it a proper go.”

Well… I did do a lot of walking in 2020 but when things got crazy at work at the height of Covid… I couldn’t be bothered to write my miles down and keep track. So whilst I was walking way more than I would have before, even walking to and from work in the spring and summer… I can’t really say I achieved this one without feeling like a fraud.

I am going to try again in 2021 though, so watch this space!

5. Get a dog.
“Now that we’re in a bigger house, and can actually be home more, this WILL be the year we get a dog. It’s not even an option anymore, I need a pup in my life!”

Ok, if you follow my blog and socials then you know I had this goal in the bag! We contacted a lovely breeder in January and were approved for a boy puppy, ready to come home mid-March. The timing ending up being absolutely perfect and Reggie was waiting at home for me after work, the week that the UK went in to lockdown. He was an absolute blessing at a time of such uncertainty and I’ve written many posts about him since!

Reggie and I heading towards 2021 with hope and positivity!

6. Look after my health. & 7. Drink more water.
“As I’m getting older, I’m realising that I take my health a little for granted perhaps, so I would like to work on that this year and well in to the future.”

Another thing the pandemic made many of us realise, I think, is the importance of our health. As I’d said in my 2020 post, I wanted to take better care of myself anyway but I really only recentlt realised just how lucky I am to be healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means the world’s healthiest person… in fact, I’ve piled on weight in the last few years and spent many nights comforting eating at home. I am, however, a lot more conscience now: I drink more water, I eat more fruit and veg, I try to get plenty of fresh air and of course I’m also now taking care of my mental health too.

So did I acheive this goal? I’m saying yes, although I’ve got plenty of room for improvement.

8. Get organised.
“My biggest challenge of all, and to be honest, probably my resolution every year since I was old enough to need to be organised for myself… I am not organised, plain and simple. I buy a diary every year and never use it, I double book myself constantly, I’m always late and just generally never prepared. It’s time to improve – I won’t say it’s time to change, because to be honest I don’t think I ever will, but I can at least TRY to be more organised!”

I might as well just leave this year for a goal in 2021… I can’t really think of any examples of me being particularly more organised in 2020… then again it’s not like I had any plans to stick to! Did I acheive this? I’ll say no if I’m being honest with myself, seeing as my diaries and planners went near enough untouched yet again.

I signed off my 2020 post saying “I’m already off to a good start, so I feel like this year could really be a good one!” which I think now is a tad amusing… so many of us vowed that 2020 would be our year and really… well it just wasn’t, was it?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Perhaps 2021 will be different! I’m not holding out for any overnight miracles, however the new year does bring some hope with it at least. Here are my goals for this year:

1. Take up more opportunies.

Reflecting on 2020 has made me really miss a lot of things, but also realise how many things I’d passed up on pre-covid, taking time and freedom for granted. Little things, like not being bothered to go out fot a drink, or being too nervous to try new things. This year, and beyond, it’s my goal not too pass up these opportunities… they say you only regret the things you don’t do, and I’m starting to understand that now!

2. Follow a proper skincare routine (and stick to it)

I will openly admit that I really don’t understand skincare, beyond washing my face and using a bit of toner and moisturiser. I keep trying to get in to a decent skincare routine, but becuase I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing I end up not keeping up with it.

My mum recently got me the Caroline Hirons book, so I’m trying to understand it all more and actually look after my skin once and for all.

3. Start a business.

I recently started candle making and having enjoyed it so much that I’d like to eventually pursue selling them and starting a business. I’m in no rush to do it, as I’d like to just enjoy it as a hobby for myself for now, and I also feel like I need to get it perfect before I sell. That all being said, I’d like to start this year – even if it’s December 31st!

4. Continue to work on my mental health

Finally starting to see a counsellor at 28 years old, has been a HUGE turning point for me – I can’t even begin to explain how tough it was to ask for the help I needed after so long. I’m already seeing such a difference, so this year I am going to carry on working on this and looking after my mind. I’d like to write more about my experience too, so watch this space if that’s something that will interest you.

5. Document the year

I often forget to appreciate the little things, or take photos, or write down my feelings. This year, I want to take it all in and remember it. I’ve already started mini daily vlogs and you can expect to see a lot more “journal” style blog posts on here too!

Carrying over from 2020…

Seeing as I didn’t quite acheive everything that I wanted to last year, there’s a few things that I’m going to try again with, or just carry on doing.

  • Walk 1000 miles
  • Read more
  • Look after my health
  • Be more organised

So there we go! 2021…. let’s do this. What are your goals for this year? Let me know in comments.

Posted in Corgis, Pets

7 Of The WORST Things About Having A Corgi

Let me just start out now saying that I adore having a Corgi and when I say WORST, I’m in no way shape or form complaining! However, there are still a handful of drawbacks and this small list is mine…

1. You always get attention whilst out for a walk

We actually often take Reggie to remote places or we walk before/after work when not many people are around. Not to avoid attention, and it’s not like we get swarmed every time we leave out house, but just because that’s what our routine is.

However, on most walks we get stopped by at least one person asking about him being a Corgi. It’s lovely when people take an interest but I’m not one for the attention! From what I gather, this isn’t just a Reggie thing, it’s a Corgi thing… so if you’re like me and don’t like the attention, be warned!

2. They shed like crazy

There’s an ongoing joke among Corgi owners that these dogs shed twice a year… for 6 months at a time. It’s not wrong! The shedding is relentless, so I would imagine that they are not a good breed if you have allergies, although I don’t know that for a fact. Regardless, if you don’t want dog hair everywhere, a Corgi really isn’t for you.

3. They need a lot of attention

Reggie will do anything to get our attention and is often getting as close as physically possible. He also gets particularly jealous if we’re fussing over another dog instead of him!

Owning any dog isn’t easy, or purely fun and games, but I’d say that a Corgi is one of the more difficult breeds in terms of how much time and attention they want from you. That being said, Reggie is also happy to have some time alone if he has to… he just wants your undivided attention all the time we’re home!

4. They will nip

Corgis were once used to herd cattle and these instincts are still apparent. It’s never too bad with Reggie but sometimes you can tell he’s trying to herd us and other dogs when we’re out for a walk, he will relentlessly chase if he can and unfortunately…. nip. Let me be clear, he’s not biting, and it never hurts but I know some people may take issue with a bit of nipping, especially if you have kids to think about.

5. They will try to rule the house

It’s in a Corgi’s nature to try and be the boss, so you have to establish your authority from day one. They KNOW they’re cute and will use it to get their own way… we’ve let Reggie get away with a lot, for example, he’s allowed on the bed now which was never going to happen! How can you resist that face though?

6. You need to keep an extra eye on their backs

Another thing Reggie pushes the boundaries on, is jumping off the furniture. Perhaps we should have been more strict in the beginning and not let him up, but he loves to cuddle with us and we love it too… however we learnt a scary lesson recently, when he woke up unable to walk one day.

A lot of expensive vet fees and weeks of anxiety later… we still don’t know really what caused it but the most likely explanation was that he’d hurt himself jumping of the bed in the night. It’s safe to say that we feel very guilty and so have now put provisions in place so he’d less inclined to jump, like a ramp, and he gets carried up and down the stairs. Sometimes we don’t catch him in time but it’s worth knowing that you must keep a close eye.

7. They’re very vocal

I absolutely adore everything about my boy, even with the downsides, but… if there was one thing I could possibly change, it would be his barking. Sometimes the noises he makes are quite amusing, including a range of strange grunts but then other times he goes overboard and will just bark incessantly to get whatever it is he wants.

He also barks if he sees another dog, not to be aggressive in the slightest as he thinks it’s how he can initiate play… but unfortunately and unsurprisingly, not everyone sees it this way and will often turn the other way!

All in all, having a Corgi is wonderful… but there are still down sides that are important to consider before owning one. I hope this post has been helpful and stay tuned for more Corgi content!

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Posted in Corgis, Pets

8 Of The BEST Things About Corgis

I am definitely biased but… Corgis really are the best breed of dogs in the world. I have loved them for years and always wanted one of my own, I still can’t believe that I finally have one!

Recently I shared some of the things you should know before getting a puppy in general, but I wanted to get specific and hopefully encourage more people to get their own Corgi. In the UK, it’s surprisingly rare to see a Corgi anywhere, so hopefully this post will show you what is so great about them… because honestly having one is brilliant!

1. They’re always happy

Corgis always have a smile on their face but not only that, they have lovely temperaments. I’m sure there are some Corgis out there that are grumpy gits, but as a whole they’re a very happy and excitable breed. That energy is infectious and Reggie has definitely been a shining light during this difficult year.

Reggie is always smiling!

2. They’re full of character

Building on from that, they have generally great personalities and are FULL of character. I often feel like I’m having a proper conversation with Reggie because he’s so expressive (and vocal!). They’re playful, judgmental and all round hilarious.

I’d love to know what he’s thinking sometimes

3. Don’t be fooled by those tiny legs… they’re very athletic!

If you’re looking for a dog to go on long walks or runs with, don’t assume that a Corgis little legs won’t keep up with you! They’ve got the energy to match their personality, that’s for sure. Depending on what you’re looking for in a dog, maybe this isn’t for you but personally I think it’s a great thing.

The perfect companion for a long walk

4. They’re very adaptable

No matter what your living circumstances are, a Corgi will generally adapt and be happy no matter what. As long as you can give a decent chunk of your time to walking and training with them, it doesn’t really matter if you’re in a big house or a flat, the city or the countryside. From experience, Reggie loves a quiet walk along the beach just as much as in a busy town.

Happy to play no matter where he is

5. They’re smart and therefore easy to train

Corgis are very intelligent dogs, which makes them easy to train. They’re working dogs and aim to please so will work hard on learning new tricks… but be warned… they’re often too smart for their own good and will try to be boss!

Reggie learnt how to sit, lay down, roll over and come when called… all within the first couple of weeks we had him!

6. Everything about them is ADORABLE

Everything about Corgis is beyond cute. They’ve got it all covered: huge ears that flop when they run, a cute little waddle with their stumpy legs, a floofy butt, the little paw grabs and of course, the famous corgi sploot!

Sploot!

7. They’re affectionate

As long as he’s had a chance to play as well, Reggie is SO affectionate. He doesn’t understand boundaries though so will often get right up in your face but he loves a good cuddle on the sofa… with plenty of sloppy kisses too!

8. They’re great company

All in all, they’re the best companion you could ever ask for. Whilst I love dogs in general, Corgis really are the best in my opinion and I hope that I continue to have many of these wonderful creatures in my life for years to come!

Kisses!

Are you a corgi lover? If so what’s your favourite thing about them?!

Stay tuned for my list of the WORST things about Corgis!

Posted in Pets

8 Things To Know Before Getting a Puppy

Many people will be of the opinion that you should always rescue… however, I personally feel that if you and your breeder are both responsible, then there is no reason at all not to get a puppy. You just need to make sure to do your research and make sure you’re ready to commit. Sadly, I have been hearing more and more lately, of so many people getting new puppies without realising how much hard work is involved.

There are links on this post but none are affiliate. All opinions are my own and I’ve received no form of payment for this post, I just do it for fun!

I’m no expert of course, but after a successful first few months with Reggie, here are 8 things that I think you need to consider before you get a puppy!

The hard work is DEFINITELY worth it!

There will be some sleepless nights and early morning wake up calls

The first two nights that Reggie was first home were very hard, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that. We were fully prepared for it though and it wasn’t a shock, and actually we didn’t really mind, although hearing your new pup cry endlessly is absolutely heartbreaking.

We had already decided that Reggie would not sleep upstairs with us, so the hardest thing was not to give in to his cries and let him come up. It’s really important to ride it out though and start as you mean to go on.

So peaceful… when he’s asleep!

Here are some helpful tips for the first few nights!

  • Play with your puppy for a while before bedtime, and try not to let them sleep too much during the day.
  • A good breeder will give you a blanket, or something with the mother’s scent, this will reassure your puppy when you’re not around.
  • Start as you mean to go on. Wherever you want your dog to sleep, do it from day one and don’t give in to the temptation to change it “just for the first night”.
  • You will still need to keep a close eye to make sure they’re not too distressed. I suggest going to check in between cries and whines, to hopefully promote to them that you will come back when they’re NOT crying.

You won’t get much sleep the first night, and guess what? The second night is even worse. Persevere though, and after the first few nights it should be fine!

Not only will you not get much sleep during those first nights home, but you’re going to need to get up early too. We were up at 4am from the first morning with him, which gradually got a bit later and now he generally lets us lay in until about 6am, although we often still hear him stirring very early. (I will say that we are also early risers anyway, so perhaps he’s just got used to that!)

Early morning walks since day one!

There will be plenty of accidents

Our breeder had done a fantastic job of getting toilet training started, but that doesn’t mean Reggie came home and knew exactly what to do and where to go for his business!

We had plenty of accidents for the first couple of weeks and had many poops on rugs, and even a wee on our brand new sofa… but it’s just what happens when you get a new puppy. It can be frustrating, but you have to just accept it!

Yep, we covered the sofa in blankets when Reggie first came home… and he peed right through them!

Here are some helpful tips for toilet training:

  • DON’T get angry and punish them, just take them outside or to wherever you want them to learn to go.
  • When they go in the right place, give them plenty of praise and treats.
  • When you think they’ve cracked it… there will still be accidents! Don’t be discouraged, they’ll get there. Reggie went weeks with no accidents in doors, then all of a sudden… it was like he just forgot it all over again.
  • Buy an odour destroyer! This will get rid of the scent and prevent the pup going in the same place again.
  • Take then out to the toilet regularly, even if they might not need to go. We took Reggie outside every two hours for the first couple of weeks and it really helped.
  • Be prepared you either get up in the night for a toilet trip, or get up super early.
  • Be prepared for diarrhoea, and probably vomit too, not just a little bit of wee or poop. I hate to break it to you, but your puppy will probably have an upset tummy when you first get them home.

Besides toilet related accidents, there will always be a mess

Our house is never clean and tidy anymore. Plain and simple! Even when it is, it doesn’t last long… Some mess that we have been left since having a pup:

  • Stuffing from toys
  • Dog food on the floors and walls
  • Fur. So much fur.
  • Laundry taken from the basket and strewn everywhere
  • Chewed up shoes
  • Permanently muddy floors
  • Sand
  • Water from struggling to give him a bath
  • Leaves and dug up plants from the garden
  • Torn up post… bonus info… puppies CHEW EVERYTHING!
I know where the phrase “mucky pup” comes from now

You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors and in all weathers

This should be a given but we hear of so many people that don’t walk their dogs! I shouldn’t have to say it, but dogs need to be walked and it doesn’t matter if it’s bad weather outside.

Of course, not all dogs require the same amount of exercise so you should make sure that you research the particular breed you’re getting to make sure you give them the correct amount.

Reggie does actually sometimes refuse to walk in the rain, but we still encourage him to keep going so he can at least go to the toilet and burn off some energy.

You need to give your constant attention (even when you’re unwell or tired)

Again, different breeds require different amounts of attention and maintenance, but it goes without saying that when you first have a puppy they will take up all of your time and focus.

They will want to explore everything, chew everything, eat everything, go to the toilet all the time… so you need to keep a close eye! Not only that, but there’s the training and playing too. You’ll be on the go much more than you might think!

Much like a new baby, a puppy will require your undivided attention and honestly it’s just not fair to them if you can’t commit to that.

There are times that Dale and I are really tired, or have been ill, but we still have to walk, feed and play with Reggie – it’s not always cute fun and games!

Make sure you’re financially prepared

Again, different breeds costs different amounts but it seems common that breeders have put their prices up significantly recently, however it’s not just the cost of getting your puppy to consider. You also need to think about:

  • Insurance
  • Vet bills – worming, flea treatments, neutering and the unfortunate unexpected bills (research common health concerns in your breed!)
  • Food and treats
  • Toys… I’m terrible for wanting to get Reggie all the cute toys we see!
  • Replacements for all the things they will destroy…

You’re not just getting a puppy, you’re getting a dog

That probably sounds silly but many people just think about the short term, cute puppy they’re getting. But remember this, they’re not puppies for long… you’re committing to having a dog for a significant number of years!

Reggie certainly isn’t this tiny anymore!

You will have to leave them home alone at some point and the guilt is awful

This was the thing I wasn’t overly prepared for… I genuinely didn’t realise how guilty I could feel leaving my baby at home… yep, my baby. Unfortunately though, we can’t stay home with them all the time, or take them everywhere, so it does have to be done at some point.

Of course, you can’t leave them alone too long either and so another responsibility to consider is making sure someone can always get home. We never leave Reggie alone for more than 4 or 5 hours and I hate it every time we have to do it.

However, it’s always something to look forward coming home to!

Cuddles when I get home, no matter how big he gets!

So, that’s 8 things I think everyone should consider before getting a puppy! If you have anything to add to the list then be sure to mention it in the comments.

Stay tuned for more puppy and Corgi related posts ❤

Posted in Corgis, Pets

A Walk on the Beach With Reggie the Corgi

This is a somewhat different post for me, but after I got so many great photos on an early morning walk, I had an impromtu idea! A photo journal of sorts… I’ve been toying with the idea of sporadic journal posts for a while and so I suppose this is my first attempt. What better way to start something that with a sh*t load of Corgi photos!?

I haven’t posted about my dog on here yet, although I had planned too at some point. If you don’t follow on me on my socials then, to get you up to speed, I have a 7 month old Corgi puppy, called Reggie, and yes… he has his own Instagram. As this post was unplanned, I won’t go in to too much detail but if you’d like to see more Corgi related posts then let me know in the comments!

So, here’s what a weekend walk is typically like!

We arrived at The Warren in Folkestone, at half past 7 in the morning. It’s better to get there early, as it’s quieter and we’re also having a heatwave here right now so any later is too hot for the dog.

Another reason to go at this time of morning is that it means the tide will be out, and there’s a lovely, almost secluded, area of sandy beach that appears.

Reggie wasn’t the biggest fan of water when we first had him, but as he gets older he is certainly getting more curious and brave – he had his first swim today and I had a definite proud mum moment… I’m not afraid to admit that I am in fact the kind of person that treats my dog like my child!

Of course, getting wet means having a good shake after!

Giving Taylor Swift a run for her money

Looking so majestic…

Oh no, he just needs to shake again…

Only a dog could look this cute whilst shaking dry!

After shaking off the salty water, it’s time to explore… with his nose of course…

Once Reggie catches a scent, he might wander off, but he’ll never go far without checking where we are.

He’ll often spend a walk, running back and forth… off for an explore and then back to us.

Little legs, big heart!

It does pain me to admit it, but there is a clear favourite human… and it’s not me!

I have so many cute photos of these two, simply because Reggie will not leave his side, even following him in to the sea.

After a dip in the sea, it was time for a run around – Reggie loves being chased, as well as doing the chasing…

“Corgdad” tried to entice Reggie back in to the sea, but by this point he’d lost interest.

Watch out for the Corgi approaching…

3.5 miles done and it was time to head home. This lovely spot is a 5 minute drive from where we live and luckily, Reggie is really good in the car and isn’t at all bothered.

Enjoying the breeze from the window

I hope you enjoyed this slightly different post from me, stay tune for future Corgi content!