Gift Guides: Under £20 last minute gifts with FatFace

With less than a week to go until the big day it’s likely that some of us (me included) are starting to panic about gifts left to buy. I’m pretty much there now, but there’s one or two little things still left to get and the race is on to find somewhere that can deliver in time.

Enter FatFace with their great selection of gifts under £20- if you order before 4pm on Wednesday you will have your goods in time for Christmas (and right now they are offering free standard delivery on everything!)

You’ll find something for everyone on the site- from cosy socks to novelty gloves and scarves for the kiddies. Ideal if you’re struggling for that last minute work secret santa, have forgotten your best friend’s kid or just want to have something crowd pleasing on stand by for any last minute guests. I’ve popped together a little selection of my favourite items under £20- ones I’d love to both give and receive.

I really hope this gift guide has managed to alleviate panic for at least one person! Are you all wrapped up for Christmas?
This is the first year where I haven’t been 100% on it with my organisation, and I’m both panicking inside and revelling in the chaos!

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To the Moon and Back

In my last outfit post I mentioned my current obsession with all things celestial, and luckily for me (and less so for my bank balance) the shops are currently awash with space themed prints.

During a recent browsing session I happened across THE most perfect dress from Joanie Clothing and tweeted about my love for it. A few days later, on the very day I was going to ask Bob if he’d like to buy it for me for Christmas, Joanie Clothing got in touch and offered to send me the dress to feature on my blog (insert pun about the stars aligning here).

Kate Star Print Dress c/o Joanie Clothing

The Kate dress is a dream- amazing print aside, the cut and fit is just spot on. This is the first piece I’ve ever owned from Joanie Clothing and, as I’m currently having some massive struggles with body image I had no idea what size to go for. In the end I went for my normal size (which in my head would be far too small for me) and luckily it fits like a dream. The shape of the dress is super flattering too and it’s probably the first item of clothing I’ve put on in ages that instantly made me feel good.

I paired the dress with my rose gold ankle boots from River Island- and made the dubious decision to wear black tights. In hindsight this was potentially a mistake, but you live and learn.

This is the perfect dress to wear over the Christmas and New Year period, which is now pretty much upon us. For the first time in years I’m actually really excited for the festive season and I have plenty of things planned for which this dress will be the perfect fit.

This week looks like it’s going to be a manic one with work so this may well be (but hopefully won’t be) my last post before Christmas…hopefully I’ll manage to squish in a post or two between work and play – no time for rest this week! If not then I’ll be back with an end of year round up before the clock strikes midnight on the 31st.

Are there any prints you’re obsessed with lately? Or any brands? I’ve only recently discovered Joanie Clothing and my wish list is ten miles long.

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The UK: A Nation Of Dog Lovers?*

I might be better known for being a dedicated “cat lady”, and whilst felines definitely own my heart I do have a soft spot for any animal, and dogs run a close second to kittens.

It would seem I’m not alone, according to data from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), 54 million pets can be found in 12 million households across the UK — that’s 44 per cent of households being home to at least one pet.
Of that figure, it is estimated that there is a population of 8.5 million dogs in 24 per cent of all households throughout the nation. Only indoor and outdoor fish have a higher population (at between 15 and 20 million each), though the percentage of households with a dog is higher than any other single type of pet — cats are a distant second with 17 per cent of households being home to one of these pets at a minimum.
So, how does the dog population spread across the UK? Natural dog food suppliers, Feedem has conducted research to find out…

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

In North-East England
According to PFMA data, 31 percent of the North-East of England’s population have dogs. There are an estimated 510,000 dogs in the region with around 422,000 households being home to at least one canine companion.
So, what types of dogs can you expect to see across the North-East? According to data pulled from the number of dog breeds which were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016 the Labrador retriever is the most popular. The English cocker spaniel was the 2nd most popular breed, followed by the French Bulldog. The following breeds make up the remainder of the top 10:Pug
English springer spaniel
English bulldog
German shepherd
Border terrier
Shih-tzu
Miniature schnauzerWhen analysing a decade’s worth of microchipping data gathered from pet registration companies Petlog and Animalcare, the BBC also established that Labrador retrievers were the favourite dog breed of every borough of North-East England except for Sunderland where 1,600 Staffordshire bull terriers were tagged over a 10-year period compared to 1,500 Labrador retrievers.

In North-West England
According to PFMA data 27 per cent of the North-West of England’s population have dogs. Here there are an estimated 852,000 dogs in the region with around 1,110,000 households being home to at least one dog.
When it comes to the most popular dog breeds across the North-West research into the number of dog breeds which were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016 the French Bulldog came out top, and in 2nd place was the Labrador retriever, with the English cocker spaniel 3rd and the rest of the top 10 as follows:Pug
English bulldog
English springer spaniel
German shepherd
Staffordshire bull terrier
Border terrier
Miniature schnauzerIn their microchipping data analysis though, the BBC paints a different picture when it comes to the favourite dog breeds of specific areas of the North-West. In fact, Labrador retrievers were found to have been the breed of dog with the highest number of tags in areas such as Carlisle, Lancaster, Blackpool, Preston, Blackburn, Chester, Warrington, Crewe and Stockport. However in Liverpool, Wigan, Bolton, Manchester and Oldham it was Staffordshire bull terriers that reigned supreme

Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

In Yorkshire & the Humber
According to the PFMA data 23 per cent of the Yorkshire & the Humber’s population have dogs. There are an estimated 760,000 dogs in the region with around 590,000 households being home to at least one dog.
In their microchipping data analysis the BBC established that there was a split when it came to the favourite dog breeds of specific areas of Yorkshire & the Humber. Labrador retrievers were found to have been the breed of dog with the highest number of tagged examples in Bradford, Harrogate, York, Hull, Leeds, Huddersfield and Doncaster. However it was once again the Staffordshire bull terriers that reigned supreme in Sheffield and Wakefield, while greyhounds were established as the favourite dog breed across Halifax.
In the East Midlands
26 per cent of the East Midlands’ population have dogs, and there are an estimated 1,000,000 dogs in the region, with around 694,000 households being home to at least one dog.
In their microchipping data analysis the BBC established that there was one breed that stood head and shoulders above the rest when it came to the favourite dog breeds of specific areas of the East Midlands — the Labrador retriever had the highest number of tagged examples of every borough analysed!In the West Midlands
Here 26 per cent of the West Midlands’ population have dogs and there are an estimated 910,000 dogs in the region, with around 609,000 households being home to at least one dog.
In their microchipping data analysis the BBC established that there was a split between two types of dogs when it came to working out the favourite dog breed of the West Midlands. While Labrador retrievers were found to have been the breed of dog with the highest number of tagged examples in Coventry, Worcester, Telford, Hereford and Shrewsbury, Staffordshire bull terriers reigned supreme in Stoke-on-Trent, Walsall, Birmingham, Dudley and Wolverhampton.

In the East of England
Around 20 per cent of the East of England’s population have dogs and there are an estimated 740,000 dogs in the region.
Which types of dogs can you expect to pass when in the East of the country then? Analysis from the number of dog breeds which were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016 suggests that the Labrador retriever is the most popular breed once again. Sitting in 2nd place is the English cocker spaniel. The French bulldog completes the top three and the remainder of the top 10 are as follows:German shepherd
Pug
Golden retriever
English springer spaniel
English bulldog
Miniature dachshund
Miniature schnauzer

In London
Only 9 per cent of London’s population have dogs and there there are only an estimated 200,000 dogs in the region.
Wondering London’s most popular dog breeds are? The French bulldog takes the top spot based on the number of dog breeds which were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016. This is followed by the Labrador retriever in 2nd place and the English cocker spaniel in 3rd place and then the following to round off the top 10:

Pug
English bulldog
Miniature schnauzer
German shepherd
Miniature dachshund
Golden retriever
Chihuahua

In their microchipping data analysis though, the BBC established that two different types of dogs, other than the French bulldog were fighting for the top spot when it came to the favourite breeds of specific areas of London. Labrador retrievers were found to have been the breed of dog with the highest number of tagged examples in Watford and Kingston upon Thames. However, Staffordshire bull terriers took top spot in every other district analysed across the UK’s capital city.

In the South-East of England
According to PFMA data, 23 per cent of the South-East of England’s population have dogs and there are an estimated 1,250,000 dogs in the region, with around 1,008,000 households being home to at least one dog.
When in the South-East you can expect to see plenty of Labrador retrievers — they are the most popular breed of dog in the region upon analysis of the number of dog breeds which were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016. Taking 2nd place is the French bulldog, with the top three completed by the English cocker spaniel and the remainder of the top 10 as follows:

Pug
German shepherd
Golden retriever
English bulldog
English springer spaniel
Miniature schnauzer
Miniature dachshund

In their microchipping data analysis, the BBC also established that Labrador retrievers were the favourite dog breed of every borough of the South-East of England except for Rochester — there, 5,200 Staffordshire bull terriers were tagged over a 10-year period, compared to 4,800 Labrador retrievers.

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

In the South-West of England
In my home county 25 per cent of the population have dogs. In fact, there are an estimated 720,000 dogs in the region.
Which dogs can you expect to find throughout the South-West then? Based on the number of dog breeds which were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016 the Labrador retriever is the most popular breed in the region. The English cocker spaniel takes 2nd spot and the French bulldog 3rd place with the following a round-up of the remainder of the top 10:

English springer spaniel
Golden retriever
Pug
Border terrier
English bulldog
German shepherd
Miniature schnauzer

In Wales
According to PFMA data, 31 per cent of Wales’ population have dogs and there are an estimated 620,000 dogs in the region with around 717,000 households being home to at least one dog.
So, what’s the top dog in Wales? Looking at the data, the number one spot goes to the French bulldog. 2nd place is the Labrador retriever with the English cocker spaniel in 3rd spot.

In their microchipping data analysis though the BBC established that three different types of dogs, other than the French bulldog that were fighting for top spot when it came to the favourite breeds of specific areas of Wales. Labrador retrievers were found to have been the breed of dog with the highest number of tagged examples in Llandudno. However, Border collies took top spot in Llandrindod Wells, while Jack Russell terriers reigned supreme in Newport, Cardiff and Swansea.

In Scotland
There are an estimated 550,000 dogs in Scotland, with around 471,000 households being home to at least one dog.
In regards to the most popular dog across Scotland the Labrador retriever is the top dog (again!) when accounting for the number of dog breeds which were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016. Taking 2nd spot is the English cocker spaniel and in 3rd place is the French bulldog and the rest of the top 10 is as follows:

English springer spaniel
German shepherd
Golder retriever
Pug
Lhasa apso
West Highland white terrier
Border terrier

In their microchipping data analysis, the BBC also established that Labrador retrievers were the favourite dog breed of every borough of Scotland except for Lerwick — there, 100 border collies were tagged over a 10-year period, compared to 70 Labrador retrievers.

In Northern Ireland
So, which types of dogs are you expected to see on your travels around Northern Ireland? Looking at the number of dog breeds which were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016 the Labrador retriever is the most popular breed in the country. The English cocker spaniel was in 2nd place and the English springer spaniel follows closely in 3rd spot and the following completing the top 10:

Miniature schnauzer
Golden retriever
Shih-tzu
Pug
Staffordshire bull terrier
French bulldog
German shepherd
Yorkshire terrier

In their microchipping data analysis though, the BBC established that Jack Russell terriers were the favourite dog breed in Northern Ireland, with 20,800 tagged over a ten-year period. Labrador retrievers were the next most popular dog breed (20,700 tagged), with border collies sitting in third place (13,700 tagged).

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Which is your favourite breed of dog?

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Top Tips For Decorating Your Home For Christmas*

We are so far into December now that we can say that Christmas is just around the corner- and it’s actually true. In fact, Christmas is so close that I can practically smell the turkey. Because of this, if you haven’t got your decorations up yet you really should get a wiggle on. If you’re just procrastinating then there’s not much that I can do to help you, but if you are just stuck as to where to start then you’re in luck. Here are some great tips to help you with your Christmas decorating this year.

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1. Choose A Colour Scheme
It can be fun to mix and match with your decorations and have everything looking a little higgledy-piggledy, but if you want your home to have the wow factor then a colour scheme is a great idea. It doesn’t matter if your chosen colour scheme runs throughout the entire house or you have a colour scheme for each room, as long as you stick to your theme your home is going to have a big impact. Green and red are the colours traditionally associated with Christmas, but if you wanted to mix it up a bit then purple, blue, white, and silver are all popular colour combinations too.

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2. Be Sensible With Lights
When Christmas comes around it’s usually people’s mission to have their home lit up like, well, a Christmas tree. As great as this may look, you don’t need to waste so much energy to make a big impact. Instead of annoying your neighbours with ridiculous amounts of Christmas lights on the front of your house get some simple waterfall lights from therange.co.uk to add some sparkle, and skip the big glowing reindeer. Not only does this look just as good (if not better), but also requires much less effort when it comes to putting them up.

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3. Match The Dining Table
With any luck you will be spending a lot of time at the dining table this Christmas so it’s important for it to look absolutely perfect. Luckily, it’s pretty simple to do this. Once you’ve decided on a colour theme for your dining room buy napkins and crackers to match this theme. You could also buy a matching tablecloth or even just a table runner. Then all you’ve got to do is make sure the cutlery and crockery match.

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4. The Tree is The Key
Your Christmas tree is the most important decoration in your house so it requires the most attention. If you have a conservatory, like one of the ones from visualconservatories.co.uk then you might even have two, so you have to decide if you want them to match or have different colour schemes. Whatever you decide make sure you spread the decorations out evenly on the tree and don’t forget the start or angel on top.

Christmas is a magical time but it can also get pretty stressful. Hopefully these tips will make yours a little easier.

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Rocket Man

My latest print obsession involves all things space- from moons and stars to spaceships and rockets, if it’s even vaguely related to outer space I want it.

This directly ties in with my latest shopping obsession, a store I found via Facebook called Thunder Egg- there have been a couple of space related pieces I’ve been coveting since I first discovered the store, so when payday yielded a little financial surprise I wasted no time in ordering both of them.

Hat: Marks and Spencer (here) | Jumper: Thunder Egg (here) | Skirt: Monki (here) | Boots: Banana Republic

The jumper is part of a unisex range by the brand Run and Fly and I just love it- how great is that print? I’ll share my second purchase from the site soon, if you haven’t already checked out Thunder Egg then I practically insist that you must. I went for the medium for a slouchy fit and I’ve basically lived in it since it’s arrival. I actually bought the cord skirt from Monki specifically with this jumper in mind, although I have wanted a cord skirt for a long time so it wasn’t entirely based on one item of clothing! The hat is also a new addition to my wardrobe (I appear to have spent a lot of time shopping lately) and was an early Christmas present from Bob when we ventured over to Bath for the Christmas Markets. It was so bitterly cold we decided to exchange the hats we’d bought each other early and I’m pretty obsessed with this rose gold finish.

It’s all been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately and it will probably remain that way now until the new year. Life is exciting and busy and chaotic and time to create content is short. I’ve also not felt brilliantly inspired in terms of content, although I have plenty of plans as to which direction I want to take the blog in for 2018.

I’m slowly but surely getting back my confidence in terms of outfit photos so those will be a big feature next year, as well as more food related content and general lifestyle. Things have changed beyond all recognition over the last twelve months and now I’m coming to terms with it it’s time to bring it in to my hobby.

Anyway,
in two weeks time it will be Christmas Day- how crazy is that? This is the first year in a very long time I’ve been genuinely excited for Christmas so I’m savouring every second of this December.

Are you feeling festive yet?

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