Saturday, 28 February 2015

January + February Design Work!

Hey guys! It's been a while since I last shared my recent design work, so today's blog post is a round up of some of the custom blog designs that I have created since moving to Townsville.

Custom Blog Design for Emma from EmmieLeey

Custom Blog Design for Emily from EmilyJayne

Custom Blog Design for Nicole from Life of a Trainee Journalist

Custom Blog Design for Gemma from Simply Gemma Louise

Custom Blog Design for Beth from Hello Beth

Custom Blog Design for Kayla from Sheer Beauty

As you can see, minimalist and watercolour designs are incredibly popular at the moment and are starting to become my main design style. :)

I had so much fun designing for these lovely ladies and look forward to seeing what designs I get to create for you guys over the next few months!

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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Snap Happy Sunday // Nala's first week at home!

Hey guys! Can you believe it's been over a week since we first brought Nala home? Time sure does fly when you're having fun, and welcoming Nala into our family has been an absolute ball!

Despite how tiny she might look in these photos, Nala is actually a lot bigger than Ellie was at this same age. I'm fairly certain she is going to be a fair bit bigger than Ellie once she is fully grown.

B and I were initially worried that Ellie might not get along with Nala as she tends to be very jealous and possessive around other dogs. Fortunately her jealousy was short lived, and within a couple of days the two of them were soon best friends. :)

As for B and I, it was love at first sight. Nala fits into our family so well and is the best decision that we have ever made (after Ellie of course). Nala is such a sweet heart and is very affectionate towards us, and everyone else for that matter!

It took a few days after we first brought Nala home for her to start eating properly, but now she's a garbage guts. It's really great actually as it gives Ellie some competition and encourages her to eat all of her dinner as well.

As for her sleeping habits, Nala officially sleeps in our bed alongside Ellie now. We actually found that this was easier for us with toilet training as I am a very light sleeper and wake as soon as Nala needs to use the toilet. Toilet training is going pretty well also considering she's only been with us for just over a week.

I have high hopes for this little darling of ours, and I can't wait to continue to watch her grow in front of us!

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey.

Warning: This review will contain spoilers.

I'll be honest - I don't know where to start with this review. I am almost afraid to post anything at all in fear of being judged and potentially ridiculed, but after being made to feel like an idiot all week for stating that I enjoyed this movie, I feel like I should at least explain why.

First of all, I should note that I have read all three books in the Fifty Shades trilogy at least three times each since 2013. With this in mind it is pretty safe to say that I knew the story line inside and out before going to watch the movie. However, many of the people who have contributed to the movie's long string of recent bad reviews are people who have openly admitted that they didn't read the books prior to watching (or not watching) the movie. Yes, even people who didn't read the books or watch the movie at all are giving it bad reviews. Sadly a lot of these people are the ones belittling those who did read/watch and enjoy the books/movie.

So why did I enjoy the movie? Well, I mostly enjoyed it because I felt that it did a wonderful job at bringing the first book to life. When I first found out who would be playing Ana and Christian on screen I was initially disappointed, but I was more than happy to wait and see how they would perform. Perhaps I was expecting them to do a terrible job, because when it came to watching them on screen I was totally mesmerised. I must admit that I do feel as though Jamie Dornan could have been slightly more convincing in his role as Christian, but in terms of physical appearance he was better than I had imagined and hoped for in the beginning. As for Dokota Johnson, I absolutely adored her performance. She is a brilliant actress with an incredible physique and breathtaking beauty. (To all those people making comments about Dakota needing to have bigger breasts because she looked like a flat chested boy - shame on you for making beautiful women everywhere question just how naturally gorgeous they are!).

Anyway, where was I.. Oh, yes! Another of the many reasons that I enjoyed the movie was because it DID NOT glamorize abuse in the way so many people keep stating that it did. In fact, as someone who has personally been drawn to abusive relationships in the past (emotionally, not physically), I actually found the movie in particular to be quite empowering to women. I mean, the fact that Ana not only didn't sign the contract that Christian had drawn up for her, but continuously questioned it and the reasons behind it shows that just because you think you're falling in love with someone doesn't mean that you should do "anything" to hold onto it (something a lot of young girls seem to believe for some reason). I also noticed that Ana wasn't willing to give up her own ideal of a relationship (that being "hearts and flowers"), as she brought this up several times throughout the film. Most importantly though, after the abuse scene towards the very end of the film where Christian beat Ana six times with a belt after she had asked him to show her how bad his version of "punishment" could potentially be (a scene in which the whole cinema went silent, as Jamie and Dokota's portrayal of that particular moment meant that you could physically feel Ana's pain as she lay there on the table), Ana point blank told Christian "you will never do that to me again" before ultimately leaving him.

Now I'm sorry, but if you still think that all the above "glamorizes" abuse, then who is the real idiot here? (To be clear, I'm not calling any of my lovely followers an idiot, I am merely stating that I for one am not).

This movie is based on the first of a series of fictional books, which were loosely based on fan fiction and the BDSM lifestyle. Neither the books nor the movie are meant to depict a realistic interpretation of the BDSM lifestyle, or a healthy relationship for that matter. I understand that, perhaps for young teenagers, it might be hard to not to "glamorize" such a fantasy, but for a mature audience (of which the book and movie were created for) I don't understand how one can not easily differentiate between fiction and reality in this way.

Long story short - I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It removed most of the cringe worthy moments that I detested from the books (Ana's internal dialogue for one), it was surprisingly witty and funny in ways that the book sometimes wasn't, the chemistry between Christian and Ana was undeniably fun to watch, and the pain that the characters went through (Ana in particular) was both raw and real to a point where it almost made it hard to watch.

If you didn't read the books though, chances are you probably didn't enjoy it. My partner, for example, hated every moment of it, and takes every opportunity to let people know how stupid he thought the movie was. He didn't hate the movie because he thought it glamorized abuse though, but simply because he didn't feel the movie had a real plot - not understanding of course that the movie was only the first chapter of a three part series, and a continuous plot.

I feel like there is so much more that I could say about this movie, but for now I will leave it here.

What were your thoughts on the Fifty Shades of Grey movie? Will you be seeing the sequels?

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Valentines Day + Free Dachshund Printables.

Hi everyone! Happy Valentines Day! I hope you're all having an amazing day no matter what you're doing or who you're spending it with. :)

As some of you will already know, today is the day that B and I get to bring our new miniature dachshund puppy Nala home with us. To say that we are excited is a total understatement. Everything Nala could possibly need is already here ready and waiting for her. I've pretty much been like a nesting Mother for the last month and a half!

Anyway, in celebration of today and bringing Nala home I decided to make some free dachshund Valentines Day printables to share with you all here on the blog.

Ellie Printable. For more sizes, click here!
Nala Printable. For more sizes, click here!

Sorry if the drawings of Ellie and Nala are a little bit rough around the edges. My drawing tablet has been dead for a while now so I had to draw it with my mouse in Photoshop which made things a little bit difficult. I'm also not a professional illustrator by a long shot. That said, I'm still pretty happy with how they turned out and hopefully you guys like them too.

So yeah, let me know what you think! I tried not to make the Valentines theme too over the top so they should hopefully be fine to be displayed all year long. :)

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Snap Happy Sunday // Nala at 6 and a half weeks.

Can you believe there are only 6 more sleeps until we officially welcome Nala into our family? It feels like only yesterday that we found out she was born, and now she's almost ready to come home. I just hope the next 6 days (5 and a half technically, but who's counting?) go by as quickly as the past few weeks.

Nala and her new big sister Ellie
Not best friends just yet!

On Friday night B and I were invited over for a barbecue dinner at Nala's breeders house, which is when these photos were taken. Given the time of day the photos didn't turn out the greatest due to lighting, but you get the general idea - Nala is freaking adorable! She hasn't changed much since we saw her at the 5 week mark (which I documented on instagram) but she's definitely gotten bigger and is a bit more adventurous and playful.

While we were at the barbecue we also got the chance to meet Nala's Dad who just happens to live next door. His name is Duncan and he is an all over tan miniature which is where Nala gets her colouring from (her Mum, Remy, is a black and tan like Ellie). Duncan is a more traditional miniature dachshund like our Ellie in that he has a very trim figure and slightly longer legs than your more typical miniature dachshund that you see today. I'm pretty certain Nala is going to have the shorter legs though and be a bit more stocky and bigger all over than Ellie is currently. Nala also has this random black stripe that goes right down her back which I like to think comes from her Mother as well.

Nala and her sister Indy

Our gorgeous sleepy sausage

I don't want to jinx myself by saying this, but I already have the feeling that Nala is going to be an absolute delight and all around dream dog to raise into adulthood. There's just something about her temperament that tells me she is going to be a lot more sociable and laid back than Ellie was/is. Hopefully together the two of them will bring out the best in each other and they'll become the best of friends. :)

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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

How getting a part time job saved my business.


Whether you are simply looking into starting your own business, or already run a full time business from home but are struggling to make ends meet, I would highly suggest getting a part time job for the following reasons:

Depending on when your shifts start, having a part time job can make getting out of bed of a morning unavoidable.
As I am currently working a minimum of 3 early morning shifts a week, lying in bed until eleven is simply not on the cards for me anymore (not that I ever lay in bed until eleven - but I could have done). Being forced to get out of bed early has helped me to get into more of a routine, meaning that even on my days off I still find myself waking up early to walk the dogs, eat breakfast, have a shower, etc. Another reason early morning shifts are the best is because once you get home from work you pretty much have the rest of the day free to work on your business at home. It's very rarely that I want to go back to bed after working an early morning shift.

You will have something to fall back on when your business is going through a quiet period.
Unless you are raking in the big bucks from your business, having a part time job can mean the difference between paying your rent that week or not if your business happens to be going through a quiet period. You don't have to be earning a lot from your part time job, just enough to be able to afford the necessities if your business takes a turn for the worst.

If you mostly interact with your clients/customers via email, having a part time job will allow you to have face to face interaction with other human beings.
Given that most of my own client base is currently from overseas, I don't really get much human interaction with my business unless it's via email or through comments on social media. This has never really been that big of an issue for me as I am slightly more introverted anyway, but I must say that going to my part time job a few times a week and interacting with customers has been a great breath of fresh of air.

You will (hopefully) be able to go on paid holidays without having to take your work with you.
Assuming that you find a job that is permanent part time rather than just casual (although casual work certainly has its perks too) you will most likely be able to accrue paid holiday leave. Without a part time job, the luxury of being able to go on a holiday without bringing your work with you is probably only going to happen if you have been bringing in the big bucks for quite a few weeks prior.

You will have the satisfaction of being able to say that you work two jobs.
There is nothing worse than having someone assume that just because you work from home that you must automatically be lazy. Regardless of whether you sleep in late, forget to shower all day or simply watch too much TV, running your own business - especially from home - is a lot of hard work! As soon as you mention that you work two jobs however, the last thing anyone is going to think about you is that you are lazy. Just watch as you instantly earn people's respect.

These are just a few of the things that I have noticed since starting my part time job. I would love to hear of any observations you guys have made on this topic in the comments section below! :)

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