Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Make a Rescue Dogs Christmas!

Something you may not know about me as I don't tend to talk about it too much online is that I'm quite heavily involved with my local animal rescue, Many Tears Rescue. I've been volunteering there for just over a year now and it's honestly one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. Above are some of my favourite photos that I've taken while I've been there. Look at all of those little faces! How can you not want to spend your days cuddling them all?

I try to go once a week and spend the day walking and cuddling the rescue dogs. My days spent at Many Tears are absolutely my favourite days of the week. Yes, it can be incredibly sad, especially when you find out some of the back stories of each dog, but at the same time you know that now they're safe and it's all upwards from here! There's no better feeling than seeing a happily wagging tail ready to go off for a countryside adventure with you.. well, apart from the feeling you get when you go to walk the same dog again and realise they're not there as they've skipped off to their forever home!

I regularly donate tins of food and treats etc year round, but something about the festive period always makes me want to be that bit more generous. Something I didn't really realise until I started volunteering at the rescue was just how many ways there are to help, some of which cost nothing and take up barely any time at all.

Recently it was their Christmas Fayre & Party and one of the brilliant fund raising ideas was to pack a shoe box full of doggy treats and deliver them to the rescue. I'm sure we all remember doing the shoe box appeals in school and I'm sure a lot of us still participate in them to this day. This is basically the same idea, but for dogs! It was so much fun to cram a box to the brim with treats and toys and anything else you could think of! This would be such a fun activity to do with kids or even a group of friends!

One of the things I like to do is every time I go to the supermarket or pet store I try to pick up a can of dog food. One of the brands MT uses is Chappie and that costs just over £1 for a massive tin, which is nothing really. It's less than a treat size bag of malteasers. Imagine if you could rally up a load of your friends and family to start doing this too? It would make such a difference!

There are plenty of ways you can help without spending a penny too. The most fun way is of course donating your time and volunteering! I was a bit apprehensive about this at first as I wasn't really sure what I'd have to do or if I'd be getting in the way, but it's been the best decision ever! You're not expected to do anything, so if you only wanted to spend your time walking dogs that's totally fine. Or if you only wanted to cuddle and socialise the dogs, that's fine too! Every little helps, every extra walk is welcomed and any extra socialisation is always appreciated! Honestly, if you've ever considered going to a rescue to volunteer for a little bit, I would really encourage you to do it!

Other ways you can help is by donating any unwanted old towels, blankets, duvets or similar items you might have laying around. Items like these are constantly in need and aways welcomed. Donating any toys your own dog doesn't like to play with any more or collars/harnesses/jumpers etc that they might have grown out of is always a great help too!

If you'd like to donate to Many Tears here's a link to a couple of ways that you can help & they also have an Amazon Wish List.. but obviously it would be just as lovely if you found an animal rescue local to you that you wanted to donate or deliver a box of goodies to.

If you're already involved with any organizations (animals or otherwise) I would love to hear all about it! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Luxury-ish Gift Guide

1. Glamglow Gift Sexy Anti-Ageing Set - £58.99 (HQ Hair are currently offering 25% off)
I picked up both this set and the blue Dazzling Hydration Set from HQ Hair's Black Friday sale. I just couldn't resist them as I always love Glamglow products and the ThirstyMud mask especially is a staple in my bathroom. As far as I'm aware you can't easily find the cleansers in the UK, so it's really nice that travel sized versions are included in the set. I haven't tried either of the cleansers yet, but I'm really excited to! Also how adorable is the packaging? So cute, you wouldn't even need to wrap it.

2. Kérastase Luxury Advent Calendar - £43.70 (Currently over 40% off)
I know it's a bit weird to include an advent calendar on a Christmas Gift guide, since advent will be over by then, but it's a fantastic time to take advantage of the extra discounts! I think it would be such a nice idea to repackage all the items into a cute little hamper or decorative box. I actually had the Kérastase advent calendar this year and I really love the selection of products inside (yes, I may have opened all 24 days by day 4) it would be the perfect gift for any hair care junkie!

3. A Midnight Wonderland 'Lauren' Handbag - £36.00
Is it cheating to include one of my own products in this? I couldn't help it! This bag is literally one of the most luxurious feeling bags that I've ever had the pleasure of owning. That's one of the things that sucks about online shopping, you can't reach through your screen and feel the quality of things! Trust me when I say that this feels a lot more expensive than its £36 price tag. I really love how it's such a unique colour too, but not so unique that it wouldn't go with most outfits. I'm seriously OBSESSED with it!

4. Henri Bendel West 57th Coin Purse - $68 (£44.81-ish)
I might have gotten so over excited when I discovered that Henri Bendel had started shipping internationally (& are currently offering FREE UK delivery) that I just had to place an order. This was one of the things I purchased (along with the matching business card holder) and I'm thrilled with it. It's quite small for an every day purse, but it would be perfect if the recipient you had in mind is the type of person who only carries a handful of cards and a little bit of cash. The one I have is actually a metallic dark silver colour, but the pink is equally as pretty.

5. Swarovski Crystalline Lady Ballpoint Pen - £24.00
I feel like this is one of those little luxuries that you would just never buy yourself but would absolutely love to receive. I was lucky enough to receive one from my auntie & uncle a few Christmases ago and I still use it every single day! It writes like an absolute dream and you can purchase ink refills from Swarovski so you never have to worry about it running out.

6. Custom Birthstone Ring - £37.92
Not only is this ring incredibly beautiful, but I absolutely love how you can add personalisation and sentiment to it by choosing what selection of birthstones to have included. It would be such a lovely idea to gift to someone with the birthstones of their nearest and dearest. I can definitely see myself ordering one in the near future. Unfortunately, I don't think this would be delivered in time for Christmas, but some things are worth waiting for!

I'm SO excited for Christmas this year! I've already finished my shopping and wrapped all the presents, but after compiling this I'm tempted to go and order more! Have you finished your shopping yet?