Bits and bobs

Hi everyone!  Just a quick update to say hi and let you know how everything is going.

The last month for me has been crazy busy.  Work has been full on, plus Aaron and I have been planning an overseas holiday and settling into a new church.

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But, I did finally manage to get my new logo sorted, and my etsy store reopened!  Only a small range of jewellery is available at the moment, but I’ll be working over the next few months to slowly add more stock when I can.  For now, enter the coupon ’10OFF’ at checkout to get 10% off your purchase. There’s also a giveaway happening on instagram that ends this evening.  Make sure you enter while you can!

I’m hoping to get some more sewing done over easter weekend.  Can’t wait!

Have a great week.

Small Dog Socials

When we first adopted Leroy and Betty, one thing I wanted to make sure is that we kept them socialised with other dogs.  But because they’re very small, it can be hard taking them to public spaces with lots of other dogs.  There have been several stories in the news recently about chihuahuas being mauled by bigger dogs so this has made us very selective about where we take them for walks.

Late last year a couple of different people suggested we join the Small Dog Socials held in Petone on the first Sunday of every month.  It’s a place to get together as a group and socialise smaller dogs in a safe environment.  Unfortunately we have had something on every Sunday afternoon it was on for the last few months, but finally we were able to take Leroy and Betty along today!

There were so many dogs – my guess would be at least 40-50.  I was very impressed by how well behaved all the dogs were, many were even off their leads.

We led Leroy and Betty to a large group of chihuahuas.  I think there were around 10 or so chihuahuas in total at the meet up.  Leroy was right away in there meeting lots of different dogs and Betty slowly joined in too.  I met several owners who had also adopted chihuahuas from the lot at the SPCA of 60 or so that Leroy and Betty came from and it was so great to see so many of them doing so well.  We even met Betty’s sister!

After socialising the dogs for a while we went for a walk along the beach.  Some dogs went zooming into the water and swam around.  Betty and Leroy held back a bit but did manage to get a little bit wet (Sorry about the blur on these photos, it was so sunny today that I didn’t realise the lens on my camera was dirty until it was too late!).

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We ended the afternoon with more socialising time.  Betty and Leroy got to know some of the other chihuahuas and we bought them some treats from one of the stalls set up.

Leroy and Betty scoffed their dinner and have been sleeping since.  They had such a fun time that we will definitely be back next month!

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If you want to find out more, check out the Small Dog Socials page on Facebook.

Wee updates

The last week or so has been a wee bit hectic for me! I’m currently doing a huge clear out at home (& have started listing stuff on trademe, check out the listings if you are interested), plus I had a wedding in the weekend, booked a holiday for May and have had family staying. With everything going on, I haven’t been able to keep everyone up to date with the latest Leroy, Betty & Co. updates, and even didn’t get a chance to post my Friday Favourites last week.

Some of you may have seen that I’ve started testing out making dog collars! Here’s a photo of Betty modelling one of the test collars.

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These will be available in the etsy store in different colours and sizes after the store launch.

I’ve also been buying some awesome new items for jewellery that I will be making and selling. While I’ll be making some of the favourites I made while running Cats & Whiskers jewellery, most pieces will be new styles. If there is something particular you would love to see again, please let me know in the comments below. I’m really excited with some of the materials I’ve found for new pieces so can’t wait to post some pictures of finished products.

I’m still deciding on a launch date for the etsy store. At this point I’m thinking it will be early March, but this depends on how much stock I’ve been able to make before then. Dog sweaters will not be available as soon as the store opens – I am hoping to have a few for sale closer to winter.

Have a great week everyone. If you are in Wellington, make sure you get out to enjoy the amazing weather we are having at the moment!

Friday Favourites: Cats on YouTube

For Friday Favourites this week, I’m featuring some of my favourite cat videos on YouTube.  I haven’t featured Maru, Keyboard Cat or any of the other regulars, but these cats are all equally as awesome.

First up is an overly cautious cat getting surprised.

Kitten Riding a Tortoise.  This is an older video but a classic.  I love how the kitten just happily sits there as if this is a very normal thing to do.

Mr Bouncy Cat.  I have watched this video so many times and I still laugh.

Vinyl Cat.  The best part of this video is the last 15 or so seconds.

A cat eating watermelon.  So flipping cute!

And finally, this is easily one of my favourite videos on the internet.  A build up to a cat jumping that doesn’t quite go to plan.

What are some of your favourite cat videos on YouTube?  Please share them in the comments below.

Friday Favourites

Today’s post is the start of a new feature – Friday Favourites.  Each week I’ll be posting my favourite links on the internet.  This week it’s NZ pet Instagram accounts.

ClemandFrankie

Utterly divine. #clemandfrankie #clembear #frankie #bff #cuddles #catstagram #catsofinstagram

A photo posted by Clem&Frankie (@clemandfrankie) on

Clem & Frankie are two of the most gorgeous cats I’ve seen.  They love to snuggle and sleep together, and from their pictures appear to get up to lots of mischief!  They have very quickly become two of my favourite cats on the internet.

FionaRF

Shh. #fionarf #dogsofinstagram #englishbulldog A photo posted by Fiona RF the Bulldog (@fionarf) on

I’ve been a big fan of Fiona for a while, so was very glad to see recently she got her own Instagram account!  She’s an English Bulldog with lots of attitude and a tongue that seems to be always hanging out of her mouth. Her owners are pretty amazing people too.

Dori_and_Boo

Dori & Boo are a very gorgeous pair and the best of friends.  I was very stoked to find these two as Boo is another one of the Chihuahuas from the SPCA lot that Leroy and Betty were in and it makes me happy to see another Chihuahua from that lot having an awesome new life.

DudleywithWilson

Dudley is a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel who has been the star of this account for a while. A few months ago, Wilson joined their family, and has made this already great account even better.

Koda the Spitz

Koda is a giant white ball of fluff.  He seems so happy in every picture and brightens up my day whenever I see one of his photos.

PeanutWings

Peanut is a handsome little man owned by the awesome Wendy.  He recently was attacked by a large dog and I’m so glad to see he’s recovering well as he’s a big part of his family and brings a lot of people on the internet joy with his cute photos.

MontyandMilly

Monty and Milly are two gorgeous chihuahuas.  They are very photogenic and are definitely worth following.

SPCAWGTN

Calling all guinea pig lovers. I need a fosterer who knows how to do my hair? #foster A photo posted by Wellington SPCA (@spcawgtn) on

The SPCA in Wellington has their own Instagram account!  It’s a great way to keep up with what they’re up to and to see gorgeous pictures of some of the animals available for adoption.

Who are your favourite NZ based pets on instagram?

2015

My start to 2015 has been a little bit slow. I had a very enjoyable Christmas and New Years, and while I had hoped to spend some of my break working on and planning for this blog and for my etsy store, I haven’t been able to. I hit a creative wall and I’m hoping to kick start my brain this week.

While I didn’t get much done, I did start a couple of things. I have started ordering materials for jewellery. Last night I finished my first trial dog bow tie (with some success). I also briefly started planning what I’ll be writing about on here during the year.

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Some of the things I plan to write about are:
– my handmade business and upcoming markets I’ll be at
– interviews with local business owners
– attempts at recreating pet related crafts with instructions found online
– continuing reviews of eateries, and
– general ramblings – some pet related, some not.

If all goes to plan, I’m hoping for a launch date of 1 March for my etsy store. There will be giveaways leading up to the launch so make sure you’re subscribed to this blog!

In the meantime, last week I discovered my new favourite pet on Instagram – Princess Monster Truck. With her massive eyes and ridiculously cute underbite, she’s definitely worth following.

Kim

Leroy & Betty

In May this year, a friend tweeted that there were several chihuahuas at the Wellington SPCA.  I used to have a chihuahua called Tommy, who unfortunately died young, and they’ve always been my favourite dog breed.

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So when I saw this tweet, Aaron and I jumped straight in the car and headed to the SPCA.  I walked into the dog area and was in shock.  Rather than the several chihuahuas that I thought would be there, the SPCA had 60!  There were puppies, adult and elderly chihuahuas, and pretty much every colour and length of fur you could think of.

I was hooked.  I needed another chihuahua as part of our family.

We spent an hour there that afternoon, right until the SPCA closed for the day.  We then went back first thing on Sunday morning.  Overall, I think I spent 4-5 hours there that weekend.  During that time I got to know many of the dogs; we got to know their personality traits – which were playful, the bullies and the shy ones who wanted to escape the noise.

Both Aaron and I fell in love with one of the puppies – a wee girl with a stripe on her head.  The name the SPCA had given her was Ariche.  That evening, after much discussion (well, begging on my part), we decided to adopt her.

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Monday during our lunch break we headed back to the SPCA to fill out the adoption papers.  When we arrived, my mum was there, holding a two year old boy chihuahua who had just arrived.  She made the very good point that it wouldn’t be fair to have just one dog as she would need company.

We got to know this little boy who was pretty shy and timid but seemed lovely.  Betty (we had chosen her name by that point) seemed to like him so we decided to apply to adopt both of them.

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Later that week, we were able to take them home.  They have been part of our family for six months now and I’ve loved every moment of it.

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A few months ago I managed to find out a bit more about their history.  I won’t go into too many details on here as it’s pretty horrible, but I will share a small amount.

These 60 odd chihuahuas (plus a pug and some griffons) lived in a house with one lady.  They were free to run around in the house.  None were desexed, so the numbers kept increasing.  Their waste was not cleaned up so they were living in it.

Betty has been fine over the last six months.  A bit timid at times but as she is still a puppy she recovered quickly from her previous life.  However, as Leroy was two years old when he left that environment, he has been a bit more work.  When we adopted him, he was underweight – because of his very shy nature I don’t think he managed to get to the food very often.  As he was used to going toilet anywhere and everywhere, the toilet training has been a bit of work, and he is still slow to warm to people.  He has a very lovely nature and loves to cuddle, and it makes me so happy to see him coming out of his shell.  A couple of months ago he started wagging his tail for the first time.  It’s still a very awkward wag but it makes me so happy to see it every time.

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I’m so glad we adopted Leroy and Betty, and every day I become more and more happy we have them in our lives.  They’re the best of friends for each other and for us.

Places like HUHA and the SPCA do amazing work, so please support them if you can.

Food Review: Deluxe Diner

I’m a big fan of American diners.  I love the pies, the burgers and the bottomless coffee.  So I was excited to discover an American style diner just a few doors down from the hotel we stayed at in New Plymouth in the weekend.

Our first visit to Deluxe Diner was on Friday evening for dessert.  The second we walked in, I knew I was going to love it there.  It was packed and the atmosphere was exactly what you’d expect from a diner – red leather booths, walls lined with 50s memorabilia, there was even a jukebox in the corner.

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We were seated at a booth opposite a large cabinet full of pies.  While I had intended to only have a coffee, the pies looked amazing so Aaron and I shared a huge piece of pumpkin pie.  It was perfect.

Pumpkin Pie

To drink, I had a decaf long black (delicious), and Aaron had a snickers milkshake.  The milkshake was thick, yum, and even had half a snickers bar on top!

Snickers Milkshae

Next morning we headed back to Deluxe for breakfast.  We both had scrambled eggs on toast with gherkins and either bacon or sausages.  The servings were ample and everything was delicious.  I had a bottomless coffee that reminded me of the coffee at diners in the US, which was exactly what I was after.

The menu is varied and everything is well priced.  They have plenty of ways to customise your meal, including many gluten free options.

Customer service was top notch.  We were well looked after and my coffee mug was always full.

I can’t wait to return to New Plymouth to visit Deluxe Diner again.

Visit their website for more info.

Welcome!

Welcome to Leroy, Betty & Co.!

As most of you are aware, until recently I ran a small handmade jewellery business called Cats & Whiskers. When we adopted our chihuahuas six months ago, my focus started to shift and I wanted to blog about and make more than just jewellery. And so, Leroy, Betty & Co. was born.

This space is going to be a place to blog about things I love – my dogs, creativity, reviews and anything else that’s on my mind.  It’s also a space to share updates on my handmade business where I’ll be making and selling a bunch of different things including jewellery and pet accessories.

I want this to be a place that evolves and changes and where I’m free to make and blog about what I want.  I think in the past I have limited myself to focusing on just one thing and that’s where I’ve gone wrong.

And so it begins.  Make sure you like Leroy, Betty & Co. on Facebook and follow on Twitter.  Also please subscribe using the options on the right sidebar.