Friday, 29 December 2017

A Round-Up of 2017 | Archie & Winnie's Best Bits!

Hello everyone!

Can you believe that we're here, at the end of 2017? This post marks over 18 months of dog blogging, I just can't fathom how quickly it's flown by. I thought I would share some photos from this year, a little highlights reel I suppose!

At the beginning of this year, Winnie experienced the beach for the first time! We went on a dachshund walk to our favourite haunt, Hayling Island, and she got to feel the sand in her toes. I honestly could have cried seeing her running around with the other dogs... at this point we'd only had her for six months, so lts of things were still new and scary to her.

In March, we celebrated Archie's 1st birthday! We also travelled to Yorkshire for our first PR trip, a stay at Ox Pasture Hall hotel. The trip was a bit of a nightmare at the time, but the hotel was beautiful and so was Yorkshire in general! Now that the dogs' reactivity is much less of a problem, I can look back at the trip and laugh at what a naughty pair they were! Of course we still have problems sometimes, but their barking is much more manageable now.

We also managed to escape to our little family caravan a couple of times this year, which I'm so thankful for. I really do feel all of my worries disappear as soon as I drive over the bridge onto Hayling. The dogs love it there, and this year we really made it our mission to explore more of the local area, and visit several dog-friendly cafés. It's definitely something I want to do more of next year!

We've had some wonderful playdates and adventures with our pals this year! Both of these photos were taken by Amy over at Silly Tilly Poodle, and I'm lucky enough to count her amongst our friends. The dogs (Archie especially!) love hanging out with our blogging friends and I'm hoping for more adventures with them in 2018!

Along with this, we also visited several shows with friends! Paws in the Park, Dog Fest and Discover Dogs to name just a few. Meeting the people behind our favourite brands is one of my favourite things to do, along with spoiling the dogs of course. Next year I'm hoping to make it to Crufts for the first time ever, but we'll see!

In August we celebrated Winnie's first gotcha day, and welcomed two new puppies to our family! Maggie and Mabel joined my parents' household, after they sadly lost their black lab, Tilly, in June. They're both absolute whirlwinds and it's crazy whenever I go over to Mum and Dad's with the dogs now, but we wouldn't have it any other way. 

We've ended the year with a wonderful Christmas, and even some snow! I really hope that you've all had a lovely time too during this festive season. Looking back at all these photos really reminds me of what a lovely year we've had... let's hope for more of the same in 2018! There may even be a little blog rebrand in the next few months, too.

What was your 2017 highlight? Tell us in the comments!

Chloé, Archie and Winnie

Friday, 8 December 2017

Luxury Items for Dogs! | Gift Guides 2017

Hi everyone, and happy Friday!

In all likelihood this will be my last gift guide for 2017; I've loved sharing them with you. This last post will feature some items that I consider to be luxuries... I know we all have different ideas of what actually constitutes a "luxury", but I think these items are really special gifts that you can save for and buy without totally breaking the bank.

I recently bought this Barbour dog coat from one of my friends, and I absolutely love it. It's a bit big for Winnie around the middle, so she wears it with a jumper underneath, but that just makes it even more cute and cosy! In Winnie's opinion, you can never be too warm... she'd happily live on the sun, I'm sure of it. The wax coat is waterproof, and secures with velcro around the chest and stomach. It's such a smart coat and we've received so many compliments on it.

Next up we have collars from Broughton & Co., a business I've raved about on many occasions. My collection of these beautiful leather collars continues to grow (we've even got totally unique glittery Christmas ones coming soon too!) and I'm honestly a customer for life. Philippa cares so much about her customers and their pets, and it really shines through in her products and her social media presence. You can go with one of the many options on the website, or completely create your own; there are also a range of other items including scarves and lovelock ID tags. I just can't recommend Broughton & Co enough. (Order by Sunday 10th for Christmas delivery)

This is an exciting one for me! If any of you follow my personal instagram (@chloesthoughts) or watch my youtube videos, you'll know that I collect Emma Bridgewater pottery. Once upon a time they made pet bowls, but these had been discontinued by the time I started collecting. Well, a few months ago they came back! I snapped up one each for Archie and Winnie in the small size, in the Starry Skies and Pink Hearts patterns. I then went back and ordered a spare in the Wallflower pattern as I was so worried about breaking one! Also, there may be plans to add another daxie to the family next year... 

Last but not least we have another old favourite; Teddy Maximus. I recently bought Archie this bow tie at Discover Dogs, and it's just too cute! It holds it's shape beautifully as it's from high quality material, and it has two loops on the back to stop it from drooping. I have various other bits from Teddy Maximus also, and they're all fabulous quality, Winnie's shetland wool harness is my favourite! Teddy Maximus are well worth a look if you want something a little special this Christmas... until the 12th, they have a pop up shop at 86 New King's Road too!

Have you enjoyed our gift guides? I really hope so! Thank you so much to all the companies and small businesses who collaborated with us on these posts; it means so much to me.

Chloé, Archie and Winnie

* Everything in this post was purchased with my own money

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Gifts For Humans and Hounds! | Gift Guides 2017

Hello everyone!

Originally this was meant to be two separate posts, however a family emergency in mid-November pushed everything back a week... I want you to have enough time to order things for Christmas, so I've lumped my human and hound gifts together! My luxury gift post will also be up at the end of the week, as I'm aware we're cutting it fine for Christmas. This will likely be a long post, so grab a cuppa and a biscuit, and settle in!

Gifts for Dogs:

Of course, the dogs have got lots of toys and treats for Christmas! I just thought in this post I'd show you a few bits that are a little different.

The first item on our list for dogs, is a travel-sized snuffle mat that we were recently sent. I absolutely love these mats, and so do Archie and Winnie. So much so, that I actually have several as they fight over them! This new travel size is super handy for taking away with you; it looks large in this photo as Archie is so diddy, but you could easily pop this in a tote bag and take it along on trips. Sprinkle on your treats, ruffle up the fabric, and your dogs have an instant enrichment game.

How about a beautiful chunky rope lead from Land of Dogs? We were lucky enough to receive one in festive red and green! The rope is lovely and soft, and I think the bright red whipping is a fab addition. The lead is perfect for slightly larger dogs especially, and will get lots of use year-round with my parents' dogs too! 

These personalised blankets from Ruby Spaniel Designs are so adorable! The best part is that there are so many fleece colours and breeds to choose from, and the colour of the dog can even be changed to suit the colouring of your own pampered pooch! Ann also makes harnesses and other lovely bits and bobs, her website is well worth adding to your Christmas shopping list.

Next up we have some goodies from one of my favourite etsy shops, Devil Dood Designs. We've featured them several times over the last year, as the shop owner is one of our lovely blogging pals! Emily sent us a gorgeous parcel with several beautiful pieces, but I'd like to focus mainly on her new soft rope items! I can't emphasise enough how soft this rope is, it's really like butter in your hands. The best part? All of Emily's items are machine-washable! My two aren't exactly gundogs racing through the undergrowth, but as they're so low to the ground, everything gets muddy. It's so fab to know that I can just pop everything in the wash if needed. Here Archie is wearing a soft rope collar in Mulled Wine, and the beautiful blue ombré lead is called Frosty Mornings. (Please note that I wouldn't just walk him on a collar, his throat is far too delicate! I just wanted to show off these lovely items for you.)

Lastly for the dogs, we have some goodies from House of Henry! How adorable is the little present sack?! All of Archie and Winnie's presents are already wrapped up inside, I can't wait to get them all out on Christmas morning! I just love how the sack can be personalised, it's such a cute keepsake. In addition to the sack, we were also lucky enough to receive some adorable Christmas bandanas... you best believe Archie and Winnie will be turkey testing at Christmas! House of Henry have a huge selection of items, so make sure you head over there asap; their final Christmas posting date is fast approaching. We even have our own discount code to share with you; type CAWXMAS2017 in at checkout.

Gifts for Humans:

As before, there are lots of "obvious" gifts that are fab for dog-lovers at Christmas. For example, I know that I'm receiving several dog-themed mugs and at least one sweatshirt this year (and I can't wait!) I thought I'd share a few gifts that you might not have thought of.

My first gift for humans, is this beautiful engraved wine glass. This was super hard to photograph, but I hope you get the general gist! This was made by Alsorts Arts and Crafts, and makes such a wonderful gift. I asked for my dad's black lab, Tilly, to be engraved onto it as he lost her back in June. You can tell instantly that it's her, the detail is amazing. I really think he's going to absolutely love this, and I just can't wait to give it to him!

Just look at this amazing wash bag! This was very kindly sent to us by Penny & Ivy, and features custom drawings of Winnie and Archie! How fabulous to have your own pets on a gift. There are several pouch styles in the shop, from project bags to poo bag holders. I will probably use this pouch when we take the dogs away: it's a great place to pop treats etc, or even spare collars and bows for photoshoots! (Life of a blogger's dog, eh!) I'm hoping to revamp the blog in the new year, and will likely be going to Lucy for some illustrations of the dogs... I just love them!

Last, but by no means least, I'd like to share this stunning needle-felted portrait of Archie that was sent to us by Heartfelt Pawtraits. When it arrived, I honestly couldn't believe how beautiful it was. Not only does it look just like Archie, but Lissy has managed to capture his character too. I know that had I received this as a gift, I'd have been over the moon with the thought that had gone into the purchase. This is the perfect present for a dog-lover who has it all. 

Have you found this post useful? I hope so!

Chloé, Archie and Winnie

Sunday, 3 December 2017

The Cosy Canine Co. | Gift Guides 2017

Hi all,

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week! This evening's post is going to feature one of my favourite small businesses, The Cosy Canine Company. More than a year ago I bought one of their tote bags, and it's been so useful. Whenever we take the dogs away with us we pack all their bits and bobs in it, it's been all over the place with us! We were very kindly sent one of their fabulous new dog walking bags to try out for our gift guides, and I've had so much fun using it.

Doesn't it look fab next to my dachshund tote?! First of all, I'd just like to say that the bag is such a good idea. It has several pockets, it's wipe-clean and has an integrated poo bag holder/dispenser! I keep it stocked up with poo bags, treats, wipes and other dog-walk necessities, and leave it hanging by the door so I can grab it whenever I go out. One of my favourite parts about the bag is that the strap is adjustable, so you can change it as necessary if you want to wear it cross-body, etc.

Isn't the bag cute? Of course I'm a little bit biased as it's covered in dachshunds!

Let us know what you think, 

Chloé, Archie and Winnie

Archie's Instagram | Winnie's Instagram