Tuesday, 9 February 2016

We're Getting A Puppy!

I have some exciting news to share with you guys...

After talking about it frequently for years, a couple of weeks ago we finally made the decision to welcome a puppy in to our family!

We put a deposit down for this little lady two weeks ago, and will be bringing her home at the beginning of March, when she's ten weeks old! I can't wait! I'm already a little in love with her and I've not even met her yet. I was going to wait until she was home with us before I shared the news, in case anything goes wrong, but I'm too excited to keep my mouth shut.

She's a pure-bred Tibetan terrier, which isn't actually a terrier breed at all, but more closely related to old English sheepdogs and shih-tzus. They're medium-sized shaggy-haired dogs that look like a cross between a lhaso apso and a bearded collie, and they're just gorgeous. 

She was about five weeks old in these photos, but she's around seven weeks now so she'll probably look so different already. The photos were sent to us by the breeder when we got in touch to find out what puppies he had available. There were two girls unspoken for, and we fell in love with her straight away. I mean, look at that face- how could you not? She's such a cutie. 

Waiting to bring her home is beginning to feel the way waiting for Christmas morning did as a kid, that mixture of excitement and torture because each second feels like a year and it can't get here quickly enough. We could bring her home at eight weeks, but the breeder offered to microchip her and vaccinate her again at ten weeks for very little, and financially, it made more sense to wait those two extra weeks. It's tough waiting, but at least we'll be able to take her out and about and start socialising her once she's settled in.

We're busy getting ready for her arrival; buying puppy stuff, reading up on care and training, and puppy-proofing the house. It's funny watching my parents prepare for her arrival together; you'd think they were expecting a new baby! I suppose in a way we are. It just has four legs and a tail. (Hopefully it'll act as a great substitute for grand kids for a while!)

None of us have ever had a pet dog before, so it will be a whole new experience and learning curve for all of us. I've had plenty of experience with all kinds of animals, and have spent a lot of time around my sister's German shepherds over the years, but I've never looked after a puppy before, so it's going to be a fun ride. Thankfully, we have the time to dedicate to it, and I'm sure we'll be just fine.

The only pets we had growing up were some goldfish (when I was about nine or ten), and I wasn't able to convince them to let me have any others until I was sixteen and studying and working in animal care. I wasn't allowed a cat or a dog, so I gradually accumulated a hamster, two rabbits, two guinea pigs, and a huge tropical fish tank with my only money. I still have fish, but the last of my fur babies died three years ago of old age, and as a huge animal lover, I've been finding it difficult without any critters around at home. 

We've been talking about getting a dog for so long I never really thought it was going to happen. My Mum first suggested it three years ago after my last fur baby, the Honey Bunny died of old age. She wanted me to have some company at home, as well as something to aim for, and something that might encourage me to get outdoors more to build up my strength and get enough vitamin D. She knew I hated having no animals around at home (besides the fish, which isn't quite the same thing), but she didn't want to look after any small animals in the garden again when I couldn't. We've regularly talked about it, looked at rescue centres, and discussed different dog breeds. I was pretty sure we were going to go for a Westie or a Scottie dog until my parents spent the night in Poole last month, and got talking to a couple who were walking their Tibetan terriers. My parents were apparently smitten with them (the dogs, not the owners), and got the number for the breeder who turned out be less than an hour's drive from home. When they got home they contacted the breeder, and by the next morning we'd bought our puppy! And the rest, as they say, is history.

I can't believe I'm finally getting my first dog at age thirty! I'm so excited! I'm sure some of you will be thinking 'it's just a dog', but I love animals, and I've longed for this day pretty much all my life. I think she's going to make a positive difference to my life, and hopefully benefit my mental and physical health. I don't know if I'll be strong enough to walk her on the lead myself, but I'm hoping I'll be able to take her on gentle walks in the country every now and then, and work on building up my strength and pain tolerance. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens!

So, dog owners... where do I go for good, tasteful, high-quality puppy things like toys and collars? (Brand-wise). It's been so long since I worked in the pet shop that I can't remember the names of the high-end brands I liked, and if I'm honest, I wasn't really impressed with the selection at Pets At Home last week. I'd be grateful for any suggestions!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sunday Favourites #172

Another week, another dose of my Sunday Favourites...

These little Disney cross stitch patterns are so cute. I wish I knew where we could buy them.

I love this artwork from Vanessa McKeown entitled 'Food Gone Bad'.

The DIY flair tattoo balloons from Aww, Sam are adorable, and I'm loving the outfit, too.

These DIY chocolate glitter ring pops look like so much fun.

I love love love this editorial from the latest edition of Notion magazine, a feature about standing out from the crowd, having fun with fashion, and not conforming, because life is too short. (Hell yes to all!) The colourful eye make up is to die for!

I'd love to experience the Holi festival one day.

These DIY pie macarons from Sugar and Cloth are so cute.

Tattooist Sasha Unisex has just launched this set of four fox temporary tattoos, and I'm so very tempted to buy a pack because they're absolutely beautiful. I've always wanted a fox tattoo, and will probably get a geometric fox the next time I get inked, but maybe I should try a temp to test the water?

Ello! I bloody love this Labyrinth worm tattoo by Zoey Ramone Tattoos!

And an adorable platypus puggle.

Louise's Lovely Links

♥ If you're suffering from back pain and painkillers aren't giving you any relief, you might find Rai's post on alternative methods of pain relief helpful.

♥ I feel inspired by Vicky's post about confidence.

♥ 21 awesome Disney cross stitch patterns. Well, excluding the Frozen ones. I hate that film!

♥ 23 situations everyone who grew up shy will understand. I can relate to every single one of them! I used to be so painfully shy that the thought of having to do a presentation or speak aloud at school would make me physically sick. I feel sick just thinking about how terrifying it was to me. I'm not as shy as I used to be, but I still hate talking in front of a crowd, even just a small one, and as for making phone calls? I just can't do it. 

♥ These recently-discovered photographs of 1950s New York  are all so beautiful and fascinating.

♥ This video of a macaw shushing another parrot really made me laugh.

If you'd like to see more images and articles like these, why not follow me on Pinterest and Tumblr?

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 5 February 2016

What I Wore | Tartan Revival

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you; this is actually an outfit post! Yes, really! I don't know what happened either.

It's been far too long since I last blogged an outfit here on the blog. Aside from a couple of mirror shots, the last one I shared was back in March last year, which is crazy.

I used to share my outfits regularly until my health began to deteriorate a couple of years ago, but as the pain grew worse and became harder and harder to bear, the posts became less and less frequent until they fizzled out altogether.

For the record, I really hate using my health as an excuse, but the honest truth is it affects almost every part of my daily life, no matter how hard I try to fight against it or keep on powering through. The pain has become so intense that I've lost the strength to do normal stuff like shower, get dressed, put on make up, do my hair, and get outside to pose for a hundred plus photos to get one half-decent shot to blog, all in one go. I don't often have the strength or the pain tolerance for any of it, so if I've managed to shower, dry and brush my hair on the same day, it's been a good day.

I've basically spent most of the last couple of years living in my pyjamas, trying to stay as comfortable as possible, only really dressing in proper clothes when I've ventured out of the house, which hasn't been often. Combine that with the fact I've not had a lot of money to spend on clothes, I've just not had many outfits worth blogging about, so you really haven't missed out on much.

It does make me sad that my style has taken a back seat here because I always enjoyed sharing my outfits with you guys, and it was what I created Polka Spots and Freckle Dots for in the first place. Don't get me wrong; I love blogging about all of the other topics I do, but I miss talking about the outfits I wear. I want to get back to it. and I'm going to do my best to make it happen.

My aim for 2016 is to get out of my PJs more and in to proper clothes, make it outside regularly to soak up some vitamin D, and to share more outfits like I did in the olden days, and as you can see, I've made some progress already by combining all three!

I've actually taken outfit photos four times during the last couple of weeks, although I'm not sure if all four are blog-able yet. This one just about passes the test. It was grey, dreary, drizzly, and a little windy when I shot these photos, and the garden was a mess, so they're far from perfect. I also look a bit spaced-out because I was still feeling a little flu-ish when I took the photos, but the main thing is it's an outfit to share, which is one more than yesterday.

So, in these photos I'm wearing the tartan Audrey swing dress from Lindy Bop, which I bought over a year ago, but had never worn before. I'm not even sure why that is- looking at these photos, I really like the way it looks on me- and I don't often say that about what I wear! I felt great in it, too.

It's a beautiful dress with the most gorgeous tartan fabric, which is made up of yellow and white stripes and little green squares on a background of burgundy. The fabric is medium-weight cotton, and a little lighter than some of the other Audrey dresses I own- which is a good thing because I find the heavier ones too warm to wear unless it's freezing cold outside. (Though I am on fire pretty much 24/7). The tartan dress is still thick enough to keep you warm in the Winter, but I find it much more comfortable to wear and move around in. The skirt is lined, the fabric has a little stretch, and I'd say it's pretty true to size.

It's a little big on top on me, but that's a common problem since I'm only a c-cup, and it's nothing a cardigan or a jacket can't easily disguise. I'm not comfortable baring my upper arms in public anyway, so wearing one over it isn't a problem. I can deal with a little extra room around the girls. I love Lindy Bop's Audrey dresses too much to let that stop me! It's my favourite out of all of the dresses they make. I currently own five in different patterns and colours, but I'd own hundreds if I had more money to spend on clothes! (One day!) I love 'em! I just can't resist a good boat-neckline swing dress. Especially when they're fantastic quality and so affordable like Lindy Bop's are!

I decided not to go down the rockabilly route when I put this outfit together, and instead dressed it down with black pieces for a casual, every-day look. It's a simple outfit and only took me a minute to throw together, but I like the way it turned out, and I felt really confident in it.

What I Wore

Dress- Lindy Bop // Cardigan- New Look // Tights- Evans // Shoes- Fashion World* // Belt- Dorothy Perkins // Necklace- Maggie Angus // Black beaded bracelets- Dorothy Perkins // Silver and black bracelets- gifts from the bestie

I'll hopefully be back with another outfit post really soon!

How would you have styled this dress?

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Wednesday Wish List

Hi guys,

Sorry this week's wish list is a lot later in the day than usual. I fell asleep before I finished it last night, and I've only just had a chance to sit down and complete it. Better late than never, though, right? I've got heaps of beautiful things to show you, so let's get started...

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13

Lindy Bop and Lady Vintage have stolen my heart with all of their new season clothes. These dresses and skirts are all stunning! I'm particularly obsessed with the Tutti Fruity Phoebe dress from Lady V (#1) which has the most amazing fruit print, and needs to come live with me!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

I only discovered these four polka dot Lindy Bop beauties after I'd finished the previous collage, but I couldn't wait until next week to include them. They're all to die for! I can't decide which colour combo I love best, but I think it's between numbers 1 and 3. Hang on... favourites? What am I saying? I want one of each!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14

I'm loving all of these pieces of jewellery from Erstwilder, especially the dinosaurs, hot air balloon, and the adorable little brown quokka!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15

Fifteen pairs of beautiful shoes from Irregular Choice, Vans, and Cath Kidston. I love the entire collection of flamingo concept heels from Irregular Choice, but I think my favourite pairs are #7 and #9, Abigail's 3rd Party. They're so pretty.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

And I'm also lusting after these beautiful bags and purses from Skinnydip, Accessorize, and The Cambridge Satchel Company. My favourites are the bombs, the telephones, and the amazing vintage radio. 

What's on your wish list this week?

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Sunday Favourites #171

Time for another very colourful Sunday Faves...

This pastel rainbow meringue cake is so pretty. (No recipe, though- sorry!)

These pins from Creature Type are so cute.

These cross stitch patterns from Cat Lady Cross Stitch are the cutest patterns I've ever seen.

A super cute cross-eyed kitty who looks permanently worried.

These two hair dos make me wish I had rainbow hair..

How cute is this echidna puggle?! 

Did you hear that Mattel are launching three new Barbie dolls with petite, tall, and curvy body shapes? About time, right? The collection will include seven new skin colours, eighteen eye colours, and eighteen hair styles, so it's definitely a positive step forward in Barbie world.

And these DIY sprinkle nails are awesome.

Louise's Lovely Links

♥ The lovely Callie has become the new plus size columnist for Marie Claire! I'm so excited for her!

♥ 18 photos that won't make sense to sisterless families. I laughed so hard at this post because it sums up exactly what growing up with two sisters was like for me.

♥ 18 struggles that are way too real for people who cry easily. Accurate! I cry over sad stuff, I cry over happy stuff and lovely stuff, and sometimes I don't even know why I'm crying at all. 

♥ These beautiful raccoon dogs are being killed to make bobble hats and other fur fashion pieces, while brands are advertising the fur as raccoon or even faux! What the fuck is wrong with people? And why is raccoon fur any more acceptable? 

♥ An adorable dog accidentally ran a half marathon and finished in seventh place!

♥ A powerful prank that convinced a woman not to put a dog in a rescue shelter. This is so creepy I would've got the hell out of there and ran for my life!

♥ This GIF of an otter scratching his back and simultaneously having a little dance is hilarious.

If you'd like to see more images and articles like these, come say hello on Tumblr and Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!
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