3 @ 3: Autumn Knitwear

I want to try a new feature on my blog where I show 3 things – could be new buys, things in my house, foods, books, anything really! And to fit in with the 3 @ 3, I’ll always post the blog at 3pm. Simple!

To kick off the new feature, I’ve gone for two things I absolutely adore – Autumn and knitwear! I love it when it gets cooler and I can snuggle up in cosy jumpers and cardigans. I bought all three of these yesterday and they are all from Primark, so they should still be available if you wanted them yourself!

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Excuse Lola in the background cuddled on my bed! This one is a deep rust colour so really Autumnal. It’s not too thick so perfect for the in-betweeny days where it’s not completely cold. It’s oversized too, so a great cover up.

 

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This is probably my favourite buy from today. It’s got “winter jumper” written all over it! It’s thick, it’s roll neck and it’s got multi-coloured dots over it. Winner!

 

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This was the cheapest of all the purchases but it feels super quality – really soft material which makes it snuggly. It has pretty bell sleeves on it as well which makes it look more unique than a standard jumper. And, again, not too thick which means you can take it through winter and beyond.

 

That was my first 3 @ 3. See you again for more soon!

24 Question Food Tag.

I’m back, it’s October, we’ve turned from summer to Autumn and, for me, this time of year always signals the start of some serious food loving. I mean, the sweet treats of Halloween, followed by the Bonfire Night spread, the iconic goodies that Christmas brings and the brilliant buffet at New Year – with all of the extras in-between. It only felt right to come back with something food-related, especially as it’s one of the loves of my life.

1. What’s your favourite breakfast?
My favourite quickie, simple breakfast has to be toast and marmite – not too much marmite so it overwhelms but just a nice spread! If I have time in the morning it would be either fluffy pancakes (preferably made by my husband 😉 ) or I like scrambled eggs on toast.

2. How do you drink your coffee?
I don’t! I adore the smell of coffee, but I cannot stand the taste. I drink tea, strong, no sugar.

3. What’s on your favourite sandwich?
Ham and coleslaw has to be a winner. Also of fan of cheese and tomato with a bit of saladcream.

4. Soup or Salad?
Soup. I know people say salads can be so versatile but I just see salad as a load of lettuce with some extra bits I don’t often like ha! I just love soup, especially at this time of year. My mum makes the best vegetable soup. I think I may have to get myself a soup maker!

5. What’s your favourite cookbook?
The first cookbook I got which was all mine and I actually used was called Nosh for Students. My Uncle bought it for me before I headed to my Uni house. It’s not tricky stuff but it helped me budget and plan meals for the first time!

6. No more sweets or no more hearty foods?
No more hearty foods. I have a gigantic sweet tooth (and a filling in it to match).

7. What’s your favourite Cuisine?
I can’t really choose a favourite – I love all the variations of Mexican like burritos, enchiladas, tacos etc. My husband is half-Italian, so he’s all about the carbs – pasta and pizza.

8. What’s your favourite food movie?
During this time of year, I adore The Holiday. It gives me super cosy vibes and I watch it every year, without fail. Always with some kind of chocolate.

9. What’s your most guilty pleasure?
I feel guilty every time I eat chocolate or an equivalent sweet treat, partly because I eat so much of it ha!

10. What’s your greatest inspiration source?
I love Pinterest for recipe ideas. And my Mum is one of the best cooks I know, I always wish I could be as good as her.

11. Cooking at home or going out for dinner?
I like both in different measure. I love the achievement of cooking a dinner at home and having people enjoy the food I’ve made. But I do love going out to eat with my hubby as a treat.

12. High end or low profile?
I’m not a fan of “fancy” food at all. Even at our wedding, our starter was nachos! I like food that is tasty, fills us up and makes us happy.

13. What’s your favourite restaurant?
Me and the hubby love a Wagamamas. I’m a steak teriyaki girl.

14. I do my grocery shopping at:
Aldi. I remember starting Uni and going to Sainsburys for my weekly shop as it was closest and just thinking “I’m breaking the bank here.” I went to Aldi and never looked back. Their pork is some of the best I’ve ever tasted and their steaks are pretty good too!

15. The tastiest food I’ve ever eaten was:
A lot of my Mum’s meals – her beef casserole is insane, as is the chicken and vegetable pasta bake.

17. Coffee with George Clooney or Heston Blumenthal?
Neither – I don’t drink it! 😉

18. What should not be missing in your kitchen?
Toaster – I adore toast any time of day!

19. What is your favourite snack?
I love Aldi’s veggie crisps and a tasty cereal bar. If I’m being naughty, chocolate is right up there!

20. What’s on your pizza?
I’m a meat fan, so anything meat feast related!

21. What food do you really dislike?
I’m really not a seafood fan. I’ll eat cod, tuna and haddock but that’s about it. Any sort of crustacean or anything remotely slimy does not touch my plate.

22. What’s your favourite food blog?
I have to hold my hands up and say I don’t follow any! Any recommendations appreciated!

23. What’s on your food bucket list?
I really want to properly try Thai food, as in, in an authentic restaurant. I’ve heard it’s phenomenal!

25. I couldn’t live without:
Chocolate and all things sweet.

BONUS question: If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My Mumma’s cooking – it’s the best!

Day Tripper: Afternoon Tea

I went for afternoon tea as part of my birthday celebrations this year, even though it was a few days to go until my actual birthday (I do like to stretch them out!) I wanted to spend some time with all my favourite ladies, with two of my other favourite things: tea and cake. So, afternoon tea seemed a winner!

We went to Broomhill Vintage Cottage Tearooms within the estate of Antony House. It’s only been open just over a year but is such a favourite amongst locals and tourists. It’s a beautiful old cottage, converted into a tea room with the pretty garden. There’s pastel bunting, fairy lights, wooden tables and chairs and plenty of dog bowls with water (we’ve gone several times with Lola, she loves it).

We had a table made up with pretty lace tablecloths and delicate china crockery. There was tea on tap from dainty teapots and then the most glorious selection of cakes and sandwiches on 3 tier stands. Some of my friends brought their children and they enjoyed playing on the grass or with the toys put out for them. Luckily, the weather was absolutely glorious and we spent a few hours just chatting and eating. It was the most perfect afternoon.

I think it’s also worth a shout out to Popsy clothing, where I bought the jumpsuit I wore. It had the most lovely strawberry print and was the comfiest thing to wear, especially as I was consuming my body weight in cake and bread. You can find their website here: https://www.popsyclothing.co.uk/collections/frontpage Check it out- they’re awesome!

Here’s some pictures from our afternoon:

 

 

Budget Buys Pt.2

This is a follow on from my previous post where I shared some of my favourite bargain buys from budget stores. Those were mainly for decorative purposes and I’ve decided to share some more recent buys which are more for practical purposes. I think they prove that practical can sometimes mean pretty too!

1. Large storage baskets – The Range (£6.99 each)

The story behind these is that my airing cupboard was driving me UP THE WALL. I’m a bedding fiend and it was just shoved in, no order, creased and hard to find anything. I bought four of these to start with and they’ve brought some much needed order! For size reference, I can fit two sets of king size bedding into each.

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2. Photo Albums – B&M (I think they were about £3 each)

I invested in a Polaroid camera for our wedding and have used it several times since for special occasions. I wanted somewhere to organise and display our photographs so I couldn’t resist these beautiful photo albums. They sit pretty on a shelf in our conservatory and I find I do look through them from time to time if I want a smile.

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3. Copper Mason Jar – B&M (4.99)

My husband drinks vitamin shakes most days and the enormous sack of powder sat on the kitchen side didn’t cut it. I bought this large mason jar to decanter it into and doesn’t it just look so much better?!

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4. Black & Decker dustbuster – B&M – (£29.99)

As we’ve come into summer and Lola is growing up, she’s started to shed a crazy amount. I was finding myself having to unravel the hoover cord and hoover multiple times a day if I had any chance of keeping the house a fur-free zone. I saw this and it’s literally one of my favourite buys this year (how exciting life gets as you hit mid 20s). Its light, powerful and easy to empty. It means I quickly pick it up and whip around the floor and tricky bits with it with minimal effort. Win!

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Thank you again for reading! Are there any budget stores you love that you would recommend? Please share in the comments.

Love KH xxxx

Budget Buys.

If you’re anything like me, you spend hours and hours trawling through Pinterest, looking at amazing home interior ideas and letting your inner Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen run free (remember him, avec Changing Rooms? I’m such a 90s child). The trouble is, once I’ve used up all the time I should have been spending on housework or something else menial but necessary, I realise these interior dreams are just that: dreams. Because, I do not have an unlimited supply of money. And unfortunately, almost all of my dream designs cost a lot of dollar.

However, there are ways around this. So I won’t have the whole look, but I can try to add in select pieces that will add a vibe or a theme I’ve seen and love. Some of my favourite stores to shop in for this happen to be budget stores (which is rather handy). My faves would have to be B&M, Wilkos and The Range. Sometimes you do have to sift through to find something you like but, generally, I think the products they offer are incredible value and very rarely truly reflect the price.

I’ve decided to share five of my favourite buys from recent shopping trips. These were all within the past month so it’s highly likely they’re still available!

  1. Hello sign – B&M (think it was about £2.99)

I loved this as it brings a bit of quirk into the living room. The colour scheme for this room is very neutral so adding the pop of pink was a winner as well.

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2. Lampshade – B&M (£6.99)

It’s taken me 6 months of living in our new house for me to actually buy a lampshade because, so long as we had light, it stayed bottom of the list! I was in B&M with my brother and he bought one, which jogged my memory and I picked up two of these for both bedrooms. I love the colour scheme and the mustard yellow adds some colour into our mainly grey bedroom.

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3. Decorative Wall Art – The Range (£10.99)

I loved this as soon as I saw it on the website. It’s about A1 size and comes in a chunky frame., so good value for money.

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4. Faux Succulents – B&M (£1.00 each)

These are adorable and bring colour to any room. I currently have some in the conservatory, on the kitchen windowsill, one in the bedroom and two in the spare room! At a ridiculous price, I couldn’t resist!

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5. Photo Frames – B&M (various prices)

I decided to do a photo gallery going up our stairs after receiving beautiful iron lettering of our names as a wedding present. I thought photos would look lovely around it. I love the B&M black and white frames as they come in different sizes (both photo and frame) so it adds a different aesthetic. They do packs of 3 starting from £3.99.

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Thank you so much for reading! My next post is going to be another bargain buys, but more for practical items rather than decorative.

Love KH xxxx

Day Tripper: Liverpool.

It’s almost like the title I use for all of these “trip” style posts was MADE for this very road trip! 

As you may (or may not) have seen on my Twitter (@KateHepples), last week I took a road trip to Liverpool with my husband and brother. I’d only been once before when I was about 5 and, quite honestly, don’t remember a thing about it. I’d heard some great things about the city and, being a huge Beatles fan, I really wanted to do the touristy, Beatles related stuff. My husband doesn’t know a lot about them but wanted to find out more so he was up for it. And although my brother has been many times (he’s even played The Cavern Club twice!) he’s always up for a road trip, especially to Liverpool!

When looking for hotels, they were all really expensive so I turned to trusty Air B’n’B. I quite liked the idea of us all being in somewhere together as well, so we didn’t have to keep splitting up. I found a fab flat which turned out to be in the most amazing location, about 7 minutes walk from the main shopping centre of Liverpool One. It was a residential building and, despite REALLY noisy neighbours on our last night and only getting about 3 hours sleep, it was perfect for what we wanted it for. You can find the link to here if you’re interested. [https://bit.ly/2Jfes3T] Between the 3 of us, it worked out at great value for money.

We arrived late afternoon on the Thursday and, after a very quick freshen up, headed straight out. It was during the REALLY hot weather, so no jackets or cardigans needed – it felt a bit like we were abroad! We ate dinner at TGI Fridays (am I the only one who thinks the music in there is far too loud or am I just aging prematurely?) and then headed straight to Mathew Street, home of the Cavern Club and other related bars.

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It was AMAZING walking into The Cavern Club for the first time. Although it isn’t THE original cavern (it had to be knocked down and rebuilt across the road) it is an exact replica and to be honest the atmosphere and vibe felt what I imagined it would have been like back in the 60s. It was dusky, hot and dim but the minute you started descending the many flights down, you could hear the crowd and feel the pulse of the music. I was SO in my element! I was really proud of myself too, as my anxiety quite often stops me from even considering going somewhere like that but because I knew I could leave at any time and we stood near the back, I managed to keep it mainly under wraps! We watched a few fab bands that night but got a relatively early night as we were shattered from the drive up.

The next day was tourist central: we went to Albert Dock, did the Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles Experience, The Double Fantasy exhibition in the Liverpool Museum and the British Music Experience. It was very tiring (I did 25k+ steps!) but it was absolutely amazing. The weather was stunning, I learnt so much, took lots of photos and really enjoyed the day. In the evening, we went to the most incredible steakhouse and then onto The Cavern again for drinks and music.

Saturday was shopping day: I enjoyed looking round the shops which are scarce down my way and bought a few bits (would be rude not to). My feet were actually hurting from the amount of walking we’d done the day before, but we still managed a good 5 hours out before heading back to the flat to freshen up and get ready for the evening. We went to Byron Burgers (highly recommend) for dinner and then went back to Mathew Street. It was ridiculously busy though (typical Saturday) and even my new-found tolerance for loud clubs couldn’t really cope. We found an absolute gem just round the corner though in The Hard Day’s Night Hotel bar, where there was live acoustic music and we managed to snaffle a booth right at the front, where we could listen to the musicians, have some drinks and watch the world go by on the street outside.

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It was the most amazing few days and I would recommend everything I’ve mentioned here in the post: there wasn’t really anything that I didn’t enjoy or didn’t like. The city itself was really lovely: you can tell it’s had a bit of money pumped into it in the last few years as there were some modern buildings and Liverpool One is great. The people were generally really friendly and it just has a vibe about it. Almost like it’s one of the cool kids and they really know it! We walked back from the clubs late at night too and I didn’t really feel unsafe which is quite a big thing for me!

I hope you enjoyed this post about my latest road trip and enjoy the photos. Hopefully I’ll have more great trips to post about in the future!

Thank you for reading!

Love KH xxxxx

 

Tag: Beauty.

I’m in Liverpool at the moment on a city break (there will be a large post up about it once I’m back!) so I needed a relatively quick and easy post to do earlier in the week to schedule. It kinda’ killed two birds with one stone as I’ve wanted to do a beauty related post for a while and so this helped with that too! So here it is: The 30 Questions Beauty Tag. Enjoy!

  1. What was your first make up item bought?

I honestly don’t remember the exact item. When I was about 10, I can remember getting make up kits for Christmas but they weren’t branded, they were the type you would buy for a girl of about 10! I can also remember buying Miss Sporty electric blue eyeshadow. (Nice!)

2. Describe your perfect mascara.

I like a mascara that adds length but with no clumpiness. For a night out I like something that will darken the lashes but everyday just adding length will do. I currently use Maybelline’s Lash Sensational.

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3. What kind of coverage do you like from a foundation?

I like a medium to full generally – as I don’t tend to go crazy on other aspects of “face make up” (contour, highlight etc) I like the base I do have to be worth its while.

4. Favourite high-end brand?

I generally don’t buy high-end. I don’t think I’ve had anything you’d classify as such!

5. What cosmetic brands have you always wanted to try but haven’t?

I used to go to a Uni with a girl who’d always get Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks and they looked fab. I’ve also heard lots about Nars and so would probably like to give them a go.

6. Favourite drug store brand?

I like Rimmel and Maybelline.

7. Do you wear fake eyelashes?

Very, very rarely. I wore them for my wedding but only because someone applied them for me! I’m just not great at applying them and generally don’t ever find myself in a situation where I want to wear them!

8. Is there any kind of make-up you can’t leave the house with?

I used to leave the house with my whole make up bag…how times have changed! Now I’ll generally just make sure I have lip balm on me, especially in cold weather. Other than that, not much!

9. What is your most cherised beauty product?

I love my Real Techniques brushes – they really do make a difference.

10. How often do you shop for make up? Do you buy as and when you need to or splurge all in one go?

I do find with make up I don’t splurge like I do with clothes. I’m not great at experimenting either and stick to what I know. I tend to run out of things at similar times so stock up as I need to.

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11. Do you have a beauty budget?

Sort of – but as I tend to stick to the same products I kinda’ know my spending.

12. Do you utilize sales and coupons when shopping?

I’m a bit of a sucker for a 3-for-2!

13. What type of product do you buy the most of?

I find myself running out of brow pencil more than anything.

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14. Is there a brand you can’t stand?

Not really – there’s plenty I don’t use but it’s not that I can’t stand them!

15. Do you avoid certain ingredients in products?

Not particularly – maybe I should become more aware?

16. Do you have a favourite place to shop for make up?

I pretty much do all my make up shopping in Boots!

17. Do you like trying new skincare products?

Until I found something that worked I would try new things quite regularly. But now I tend to stick to the same things.

18. Favourite bath and body brand?

Either Soap and Glory or Champneys are rather luxurious!

19. If you could only buy from one brand which would you choose?

Rimmel as it’s where I get my base products from.

20. Which brand do you think has the best packaging?

Soap and Glory – I love their slogans!

21. Which celebrity always has great make up?

I love natural looking make up – even though it must be layered on quite thick for TV it doesn’t look caked! People like Holly Willoughby and Rochelle Humes look really naturally pretty.

22. Do you belong to any online make up communities?

No – any recommendations?

23. Do you like multi-functional products, like lip and cheek stains?

I never use them!

24. Are you clumsy putting on make-up?

Sometimes, if I’m in a rush. I’m not very skilled either so to most it’ll probably look clumsy!

25. Do you use a make up base or a primer?

Not every day – I’ve tried a Barry M primer to reduce redness before and then an illuminating base but it’s not an everyday thing.

26. How many hair products do you use on a typical day?

I wash my hair every other day and use L’Oreal Dream Lengths shampoo and conditioner. Every other time I wash it I use a the dream lengths deep conditioning mask and before I blow dry, a serum from the same range. I have naturally wavy/frizzy hair but I have a keratin treatment every six months which keeps it smooth and sleek, even when blast dried. So other than the products mentioned above, I don’t use any others!

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27. How long is your hair?

It’s a few inches past my shoulders now – I am trying to grow it!

28. What do you apply first: concealer or foundation?

I apply concealer under eyes and on any real problem areas (blemishes or redness) but don’t blend. Then I apply foundation over the top and blend.

29. Do you ever consider taking make up classes?

Not really – it would help me know how to apply properly but there are enough tutorials on YouTube to help with that if I need it!

30. What do you love about make up?

That it can just make you feel that little bit fresher – cover up your dark circles from a lack of sleep or a nasty spot. I like that you can apply different levels of it depending on where you are going as well.

 

Love, KH xxxx

Spotify Playlists.

It’s not secret that one of my favourite things to do is – and always has been – listening to music. It suits literally every mood I can think of, can help me change a mood or help me stay in it if that’s what I need at the time.

Growing up, music was always a huge part of my life. My Dad got both me and my brother into The Beatles from the minute we were born and we also heard a broad spectrum of music growing up. He was also a DJ from when I was about 6, and he’d make me up mix tapes of all the latest tunes, whilst mixing in with lots of older stuff – he liked to educate me!

As a result, my music taste now is an eclectic mix and I love creating lots of playlists on Spotify. (You can find me under Kate Hepplewhite if you’re interested!) In this post, I thought I’d share some of my favourite playlists and why I created them. Hopefully, they’ll help you too.

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I made this playlist for the ultimate chillout – I listen to it when I want to feel relaxed, whilst reading a book or even trying to sleep.

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Remember what I said about liking all genres of music – soul is another genre I really like and these songs are perfect for belting out!

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I LOVE the Spice Girls (I was there first time round as well!!) so I had to make a playlist dedicated just to them.

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This was a real game-changer for me. When I split from a long-term relationship and I was feeling really crappy about myself, I made this playlist to keep positive, give myself some confidence and convince myself that I could indeed make it alone. Even now I’m married, and clearly not single, I add to it regularly and it’s still one of my go-to’s!

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This is a playlist I created for one I feel sad, lonely or just a bit down. It may seem counter-productive to feed your sadness but sometimes you just need to stay in your mood for a bit in order to get fully out of it.

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I made this playlist just after I met my husband – his taste in music features bands I’d heard of but generally not explored much. Not long after we met, we took a road trip back up to his flat in Leeds and I wanted some music we could both listen to and enjoy and thus, this playlist was born!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of my playlists. I have many others so feel free to check me out and follow on Spotify if you like.

See you soon!

Love KH xxxxx

Lola.

This blog post is going to be about a lovely little ray of sunshine who burst into our lives back at the beginning of March. We’d discussed about getting a dog in the future; we just didn’t think it’d be quite so soon and I can’t believe we’ve now had her for nearly four months!

Lola was one of a litter of 9 puppies and she is 1/4 labrador and 3/4 flat coat retriever. I can remember going to look at them and all these puppies rushed over to us, jumping up, yapping and nipping. We were told there were only two left: a girl and a boy. The boy came over straight away and sat in our laps and he seemed adorable (as they all were!) This little head popped out from underneath a sofa and sat there, looking. This was the other available puppy; a little girl. It took a lot of coaxing but she plodded over and plopped herself in my lap and didn’t move. She was quiet, cuddly and didn’t nip (although that didn’t last) That was it: she was ours.

We said we’d come back the following week as we wanted to get everything sorted, set up and ready for her. I can remember reversing down their drive (they lived on a large farm) and seeing this chubby little puppy plod out and sit down, staring at us go and it was her. My heart nearly broke!

I bought a puppy book in preparation but NOTHING can prepare you properly. The day we bought her home, she was sick in the car and whimpered a lot, obviously having just been taken from all she’d ever known with her litter mates, mum and Dad. For a 10 week old pup, she was quite big but looking back now she just seems absolutely tiny.

 

She was so sleepy when she first got here and just napped for hours on end. We went straight to town with training and she’d learnt sit and lay down within the first few days. She was super cuddly and loved nothing better than being snuggled on your lap!

For the first few weeks she couldn’t go out as she hadn’t yet had her jabs and that started to become difficult the more she found her feet and her energy! We played LOTS of different games though to keep her mentally and physically busy.

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Night times were a bit of a trial…we’d got her a crate as everywhere you read now tells you it’s the thing you HAVE to do. We followed all the advice and all the steps to making the crate a positive and homely safe place for her. But she just did not like it. At all. We tried leaving her to cry, letting her out to wee, moving the crate closer to the bedroom. Nothing. Needless to say, she now sleeps in our room on her own bed next to ours and we haven’t had a single problem!

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I could write millions of posts on her but this was just more of an introductory one. It’s been such an adventure from the moment we got her and I do think we have been incredibly lucky with her. She doesn’t really bark unnecessarily, she hasn’t chewed any furniture (and teething is over, yay!), she’s so quick to train, loves cuddles, toilet trained well. She’s just brought us the most wonderful happiness and joy and we can’t imagine not having her in our lives!

There will definitely be more posts about Lola in future, but for now, this is her: and she’s very pleased to meet you!